Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 11, pp 4443–4453 | Cite as

Purification-independent immunoreagents obtained by displaying nanobodies on bacteria surface

  • Sandra Oloketuyi
  • Carina Dilkaute
  • Elisa Mazzega
  • Joachim Jose
  • Ario de MarcoEmail author
Biotechnologically relevant enzymes and proteins


The availability of preimmune libraries of antibody fragments allows for the fast generation of binders which can be expressed in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. We exploited the recombinant nature of antibody fragments to demonstrate the possibility of expressing them as functional proteins displayed on the surface of Escherichia coli and by such a way to generate living reagents ready-to-use for diagnostics. Such immunoreagents were effectively exploited without the necessity of any purification step to prepare immunocapture surfaces suitable for the diagnostic of both cancer cells and toxic microalgae. The same nanobody-displaying bacteria were also engineered to coexpress GFP in their cytoplasm. Suspensions of such living fluorescent immunoreagents effectively bound to eukaryotic cells making them visible and quantifiable by flow cytometry analysis and using 96-well plate readers. The collected data showed the suitability of such living immunoreagents for reproducible and inexpensive diagnostic applications.


Antibody functionalization Bacterial display Nanobodies Diagnostics Toxic microalgae 



The authors wish to thank Alfred Baran for having provided the microalgae strains.


This work was supported by the grants ARRS/N4-0046 and ARRS/J4-9322 provided by the Javna agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9823_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (247 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 246 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Environmental and Life SciencesUniversity of Nova GoricaNova GoricaSlovenia
  2. 2.Institut für Pharmazeutische und Medizinische Chemie, PharmaCampusWestfälische Wilhelms-Universität MünsterMünsterGermany

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