A dual-channel electrochemical biosensor enables concurrent detection of pathogens and antibiotic resistance

Dharanivasan Gunasekaran, Irina Rostovsky, David Taussig, Talya Bar-Am, Yariv Wine, Neta Sal-Man, Sefi Vernick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diarrheagenic E. coli infections, commonly treated with β-lactam antibiotics, contribute to antibiotic resistance - a pressing public health concern. Rapid monitoring of pathogen antibiotic resistance is vital to combat antimicrobial spread. Current bacterial diagnosis methods identify pathogens or determine antibiotic resistance separately, necessitating multiple assays. There is an urgent need for tools that simultaneously identify infectious agents and their antibiotic resistance at the point of care (POC). We developed an integrated electrochemical chip-based biosensor for detecting enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), a major neonatal diarrheal pathogen, using an antibody against a virulence marker, termed EspB, and the β-lactam resistance marker, β-lactamase. A dual-channel microfabricated chip, bio-functionalized with a specific EspB monoclonal antibody, and nitrocefin, a β -lactamase substrate was utilized. The chip facilitated electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)-based detection of EspB antigen and EspB-expressing bacteria. For β-lactam resistance profiling, a second channel enabled differential-pulse voltammetric (DPV) measurement of hydrolyzed nitrocefin. EIS-based detection of EspB antigen was calibrated (LOD: 4.3 ng/mL ±1 and LOQ: 13.0 ng/mL ±3) as well as DPV-based detection of the antibiotic resistance marker, β-lactamase (LOD: 3.6 ng/mL ±1.65 and LOQ: 10 ng/mL ±4). The integrated EIS and DPV biosensor was employed for the simultaneous detection of EspB-expressing and β-lactamase-producing bacteria. The combined readout from both channels allowed the distinction between antibiotic-resistant and -sensitive pathogenic bacteria. The integrated electrochemical biosensor successfully achieved simultaneous, rapid detection of double positive EspB- and β-lactamase-expressing bacteria. Such distinction enabled by a portable device within a short assay time and a simplified sample preparation, may be highly valuable in mitigating the spread of AMR. This new diagnostic tool holds promise for the development of POC devices in clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116314
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2024


FundersFunder number
Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação
Tel Aviv University
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space01032366
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space
Israel Innovation Authority81447
Israel Innovation Authority
Israel Science Foundation988/19
Israel Science Foundation


    • E. coli secreted protein B
    • Electrochemical biosensor
    • Enteropathogenic E. coli
    • Nitrocefin
    • anti-EspB mAb
    • β-lactamase


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