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A rapid multiplex assay for nucleic acid-based diagnostics.

Abstract

We have developed a rapid (under 4 hours), multiplex, nucleic acid assay, adapted to a microsphere array detection platform. We call this assay multiplex oligonucleotide ligation-PCR (MOL-PCR). Unlike other ligation-based assays that require multiple steps, our protocol consists of a single tube reaction, followed by hybridization to a Luminex microsphere array for detection. We demonstrate the ability of this assay to simultaneously detect diverse nucleic acid signatures (e.g., unique sequences, single nucleotide polymorphisms) in a single multiplex reaction. Detection probes consist of modular components that enable target detection, probe amplification, and subsequent capture onto microsphere arrays. To demonstrate the utility of our assay, we applied it to the detection of three biothreat agents, B. anthracis, Y. pestis, and F. tularensis. Combined with the ease and robustness of this assay, the results presented here show a strong potential of our assay for use in diagnostics and surveillance.

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