Label-free molecular detection of antibiotic susceptibility for Mycobacterium smegmatis using a low cost electrode format

Fatma Dogan Guzel, Hamed Ghorbanpoor, Araz Norouz Dizaji, Iremnur Akcakoca, Yasin Ozturk, Tanil Kocagoz, Damion K Corrigan, Huseyin Avci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Today, the emergence of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria is considered an important problem for society. Excessive consumption of antibiotics, long-term treatments, and inappropriate prescriptions continually increase the severity of the problem. Improving antibiotic stewardship requires improved diagnostic testing, and, therefore, in vitro antibiotic susceptibility testing is becoming increasingly important. This research details the development of an antibiotic susceptibility test for Mycobacterium smegmatis using streptomycin as antibiotics. This strain was selected because it is a member of the slow growing Mycobacterium genus and serves as a useful surrogate organism for M. tuberculosis. A commercially available and low-cost screen-printed gold electrode in combination with a specifically developed nucleic acid probe sequence for the 16SrRNA region of the mycobacterial genome was employed to monitor M. smegmatis nucleic acid sequences using the techniques of square-wave voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The results show that it was possible to detect M. smegmatis sequences and distinguish antibiotic-treated cells from untreated cells with a label-free molecular detection. As a result, the in vitro antibiotic susceptibility test revealed that M. smegmatis showed sensitivity to streptomycin after a 24-H incubation, with the developed protocol representing a potential approach to determining antibiotic susceptibility more quickly and economically than current methods.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
Early online date25 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sep 2020


  • antibiotic susceptibility
  • electrochemical biosensors
  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)
  • square‐wave voltammetry (SWV)


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