Technology ID

Sensitive Method for Detection and Quantification of Anthrax, Bordetella pertussis, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium botulinum and Other Pathogen-Derived Toxins in Human and Animal Plasma

Lead Inventor
Boyer, Anne (CDC)
Lins, Renato (CDC)
Kuklenyik, Zsuzsanna (CDC)
Quinn, Conrad (CDC)
Barr, John (CDC)
Software / Apps
Research Materials
Occupational Safety and Health
Non-Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Consumer Products
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Development Stages
Pre-Clinical (in vitro)
Development Status
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (animal)
  • In vivo data available (human)
Research Products
Research Equipment
Computational models/software
Lead IC
CDC research scientists have developed a method to identify and quantify the activity of pathogenic bacterial adenylate cyclase toxins by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Bacterial protein toxins are among the most potent natural poisons known, causing paralysis, immune system collapse, hemorrhaging and death in some cases. A useful tool for quantitative detection of specific toxin activity in clinical samples will provide insights into the kinetics of intoxication, stage of infection and present stage of pathogenesis.

This rapid, high-throughput analysis method will provide measurements that quantify the efficacy of toxin-based therapeutics and support patient management decisions during treatment. This technology is specific, ultrasensitive and can be implemented to detect toxins from a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. This method could be fabricated into a kit format to deliver to state or research laboratories for use during an anthrax emergency or for research purposes, i.e. animal studies evaluating anthrax therapeutics. This technology may be easily applied to detection/diagnosis of additional pathogenic bacterial species infections as well.

Commercial Applications
  • Detect toxins from a wide range of pathogenic bacteria
  • Biodefense, biosecurity diagnostics
Competitive Advantages
  • Presently no individual patient screening assay for anthrax-exposure is widely available; exposure is determined by public health investigation and environmental-sampling tests
  • Current tests lack sensitivity and evidence of effectiveness
  • Relatively rapid and exquisitely sensitive method for the detection and quantification of bacterial toxin activity from very small blood samples, accurately assessing exposure and infection
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah