A combination of cultivation and lateral flow assay detecting protective antigen (PA) for easy and presumptive detection of Bacillus anthracis spores is proposed. This combination is similar to most approaches relying on PCR for detection of spores, as it begins with a 12 h cultivation step. After this culture however, this test is more rapid and far easier to perform than available molecular techniques. With a sensitivity of one spore per test (10 spores/ml), this combined test is amongst the most sensitive techniques while being very cost-effective. In addition, the principles behind this test may be applicable to the detection of other organisms.
Key words: Lateral flow assays (LFA), protective antigen (PA), membrane test platform (MTP), decomplemented fetal calf serum (FCS).
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