Highly Sensitive Detection and Quantification of the Secreted Bacterial Benevolence Factor RoxP using a Capacitive Biosensor, A Possible Early Detection System for Oxidative Skin Diseases

The impact of the microbiota on our health is rapidly gaining interest. While several bacteria have been associated with disease, and others being indicated as having a probiotic effect, the individual biomolecules behind these alterations are often not known. A major problem in the study of these factors in vivo is their low abundance in complex environments. We recently identified the first secreted bacterial antioxidant protein, RoxP, from the skin commensal Propionibacterium acnes, suggesting its relevance for maintaining the redox homeostasis on the skin. In order to study the effect, and prevalence, of RoxP in vivo, a capacitive biosensor with a recognition surface based on molecular imprinting was used to detect RoxP on skin in vivo. In vitro analyses demonstrated the ability to detect and quantify RoxP in a concentration range of 1 x 10−13 M to 1 x 10−8 M from human skin swabs; with a limit of detection of 2.5 x 10−19 M in buffer systems. Further, the biosensor was highly selective, not responding to any other secreted protein from P. acnes. Thus, it was possible to demonstrate the presence, and quantity, of RoxP on human skin. Therefore, the developed biosensor is a very promising tool for the detection of RoxP from clinical samples, offering a rapid, cost-effective and sensitive means of detecting low-abundant bacterial proteins in vivo in complex milieus.

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