A highly sensitive method is required for detection of ricin in clinical samples. This unmet need, precludes therapeutic intervention in the case of suspected exposure to the toxin.
At the IIBR, we developed a unique assay for the detection of ricin, based on the toxin's depurinating activity. We exploited the fact that the ricin-induced depurinated site serves as a point of interruption, leading to the generation of a truncated cDNA molecule in a reverse transcription reaction with ricin-dependent depurinated 28S rRNA serving as template. Specific amplification of the truncated cDNA was achieved by a novel method, involving the appendage of an unrelated synthetic single strand DNA molecule to the truncated cDNA 3' end and amplification of the chimeric ligation product.
This unique method, which allows detection of ricin in varied clinical samples even at late time-points following intoxication, has been filed for Patent application (IL 252188)
Schematic presentation of the method developed for detection of exposure to ricin in clinical samples
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