Detection of φx-174 Virus Based on Native Auto-Fluorescence: Potential for Detecting Pathogenic Viruses

Yair Farber, Achi Racov School of Engineering, Kinneret Academic College, Tzemach, Israel (yair.farber@mx.kinneret.ac.il)
Yaniv Shlosberg, Department Of Chemistry And Biochemistry, University Of California At Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Usa
Robert Armon, Faculty Of Civil And Environmental Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel
Israel Schechter, Schulich Faculty Of Chemistry, Technion, Haifa, Israel

Rapid detection of viruses is essential to prevent diseases. Intrinsic fluorescence techniques are a good candidate for developing fast viral detection methods. Still, one of the barriers to detecting virus particles by intrinsic-fluorescence techniques is the need for complicated purification steps. If not, impurities (from host cells or cultivation medium) will show the same fingerprint as the virus and cause a false-negative result. To overcome this barrier, we develop a different concept: to decrease the source's impurities by formulating a low Tryptophan content cultivation medium. On the one hand, this medium enables φx-174 bacteriophage host to thrive (and replicate φx-174); on the other hand, it allows us to couple synchronous fluorescence measurements of φx-174 Tryptophan. By that, we detect φx-174 without complicated purification steps or the addition of labeling agents such as fluorescent dyes or antibodies. We have done our experiments with a bacteriophage which is a non-pathogenic virus. Still, as other virus species contain Trp as one of the amino acids present in their proteins, this method has the potential to apply to detecting pathogenic viruses.

Short Biography of Presenting Author

Dr. Yair Farber is a lecturer at Achi Racov School of Engineering at Kinneret academic college.

He is an environmental engineering dealing with water and wastewater microbiology, in particular monitoring and modeling water pollutants.

After his Ph.D studies, he worked as a researcher in industrial companies on applied research projects like UV's influence on Fluoropolymers tubing material, purification of water by Zeolites, water disinfection by Silver release, impacts of polymers on odor release, premise plumbing microbiology and others.

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