Journal of Fluorescence

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 795–801 | Cite as

Rapid Homogenous Time-Resolved Fluorescence (HTRF) Immunoassay for Anthrax Detection

  • Noam Cohen
  • Adva Mechaly
  • Ohad Mazor
  • Morly Fisher
  • Eran ZahavyEmail author


Infection with Bacillus anthracsis spores induces an acute anthrax disease that can cause casualties and death in untreated cases. Thus rapid diagnosis of anthrax at early stage of the disease is essential to allow an effective treatment. Here we present the development of rapid and sensitive homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) immunoassays based on the energy transfer process of europium cryptate (EuK) donor to AlexaFluor647 acceptor. The energy transfer process is limited to d < 10 nm, making the HTRF an ideal assay for examination of homogenous and complex samples, since only mutual binding of the donor and acceptor antibodies to the analyte would result in positive signal. HTRF assay was developed for the detection of the bacterial Protective Antigen (PA) toxin, a serological marker that correlates with bacteremia in infected hosts, using two monoclonal anti-PA antibodies that specifically recognize two different epitopes on the PA molecule. The assay was sensitive enabling detection of 2 ng/ml PA in the serum of B. anthracsis-infected rabbits in only 15 min assay. Additionally, HTRF assay was developed for the detection of bacterial spores using polyclonal anti-spore antibodies that recognize many epitopes on the bacterial surface. The assay enabled the detection of 2 × 106 spores/ml in 30 min assay and was specific, showing no cross reactivity with closely related non-virulent bacillus cereus strain. This study describes the use of the HTRF assay for the detection of both singled-epitope (proteins) and multi-epitope (particles) as rapid, simple and sensitive method that can be used at the time that fast results are needed to allow an effective medical care.


Bacillus anthracis PA Homogenous Time-resolved fluorescence FRET Antibodies Immunodiagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noam Cohen
    • 1
  • Adva Mechaly
    • 1
  • Ohad Mazor
    • 1
  • Morly Fisher
    • 1
  • Eran Zahavy
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Infectious Diseases and Department of BiochemistryIsrael Institute for Biological ResearchNess-ZionaIsrael

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