Development of a Molecular Imprinting-Based Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor for Rapid and Sensitive Detection of Staphylococcus aureus Alpha Hemolysin From Human Serum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Stapylococcus aureus is a common infectious agent in e.g. sepsis, associated with both high mortality rates and severe long-term effects. The cytolytic protein α-hemolysin has repeatedly been shown to enhance the virulence of S. aureus. Combined with an unhindered spread of multi drug-resistant strains, this has triggered research into novel anti virulence (i.e. anti α-hemolysin) drugs. Their functionality will depend on our ability to identify infections that might be alleviated by such. We therefore saw a need for detection methods that could identify individuals suffering from S. aureus infections where α-hemolysin was a major determinant. Molecular imprinted polymers were subsequently prepared on gold coated sensor chips. Used in combination with a surface plasmon resonance biosensor, α-hemolysin could therethrough be quantified from septic blood samples (n = 9), without pre-culturing of the infectious agent. The biosensor recognized α-hemolysin with high affinity (KD = 2.75 x 10-7 M) and demonstrated a statistically significant difference (p < 0.0001) between the α-hemolysin response and potential sample contaminants. The detection scheme proved equally good, or better, when compared to antibody-based detection methods. This novel detection scheme constitutes a more rapid, economical, and user-friendly alternative to many methods currently in use. Heightening both reproducibility and sensitivity, molecular imprinting in combination with surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-technology could be a versatile new tool in clinical- and research-settings alike.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology in the medical area
  • Infectious Medicine


  • alpha hemolysin, molecular imprinting, sepsis, SPR, Staphylococcus aureus
Original languageEnglish
Article number571578
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch