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Mass Spectrometry-Based Detection Assay for Anthrax Lethal Factor and Lethal Toxin Activity

Bacillus anthracis Gram

This invention identifies an assay for extremely fast and sensitive detection of the Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LTx), the toxin responsible for the lethal effects of anthrax infection. This assay has already been successfully tested in animals and will allow for early detection of anthrax infection and screening of lethal factors to monitor anthrax infections, such as for vaccine trial candidates. LTx is composed of two proteins, protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF). The assay effectively detects LF by first using magnetic protein G beads to capture and concentrate LF in samples, then tests for LF on the bead by reacting it with a peptide substrate designed to mimic LF’s natural target. By testing its reaction to and cleaving of this peptide substrate with mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography, the test can check for LF rapidly and with very high specificity and sensitivity.

Inventors: Anne Boyer, Conrad Quinn, John Barr

CDC Reference No.: I-013-06

Publication No.: WO/2007/136436


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