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Quantifying Serum Antiplague Antibody With A Fiber-Optic Biosensor

George P. Anderson, Keeley D. King, Lynn K. Cao, Meagan Jacoby, Frances S. Ligler, John Ezzell

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ABSTRACT The fiber-optic biosensor, originally developed to detect hazardous biological agents such as protein toxins or bacterial cells, has been utilized to quantify the concentration of serum antiplague antibodies. This biosensor has been used to detect and quantify the plague fraction 1 antigen in serum, plasma, and whole-blood samples, but its ability to quantify serum antibodies has not been demonstrated. By using a competitive assay, the concentration of serum antiplague antibodies was ascertained in the range of 2 to 15 μg/ml. By making simple dilutions, concentrations for 11 serum samples whose antiplague antibody concentrations were unknown were determined and were found to be in good agreement with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results. The competitive assay method could be used to effectively determine the exposure to plague of animals or humans or could be applied to other diseases, such as hepatitis or AIDS, where the presence of antibodies is used to diagnose infection.