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Immunomagnetic Beads Can Attract Plague Bacteria

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have used antibody-coated immunomagnetic beads (IMBs) to detect Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague.

While similar techniques are often used to detect various bacterial species, the methods must be altered to suit specific pathogens. This is done by taking advantage of variations in the biological makeup of the different bacteria. Because antibodies can be selected that bind to very specific targets, antibody-coated IMBs can be used to specifically remove target pathogens from the other harmless bacteria present in most food.
 
 

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