Laboratory Corp of America Holdings has been granted a patent for a method of rapid detection of microorganisms using a reproduction-deficient indicator bacteriophage. The method involves inserting an indicator gene into the phage genome, deleting or altering late genes required for virion assembly, and specifically infecting the target microorganism. GlobalData’s report on Laboratory Corp of America Holdings gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Laboratory Corp of America Holdings, Molecular diagnosis biomarkers was a key innovation area identified from patents. Laboratory Corp of America Holdings's grant share as of September 2023 was 44%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Rapid detection of microorganisms using reproduction-deficient indicator bacteriophage

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Laboratory Corp of America Holdings

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11739363B2) describes a novel approach for detecting and identifying specific microorganisms of interest. The patent claims a reproduction-deficient recombinant phage, which is a type of virus that infects bacteria. The recombinant phage is engineered to contain an indicator gene inserted into a late gene region of its genome. This insertion renders the recombinant phage reproduction-deficient, meaning it cannot replicate itself. However, it is still capable of specifically infecting the targeted microorganism.

The patent also claims a composition comprising multiple reproduction-deficient recombinant phages, each with a different indicator gene. These recombinant phages can infect different microorganisms of interest, including E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Staphylococcus. The composition allows for the simultaneous detection and identification of multiple microorganisms.

The patent further describes a method for preparing the recombinant phage. This involves selecting a parent phage that infects the target microorganism, altering or deleting specific late genes in the phage to make it reproduction-deficient, and transforming an engineered strain of the target microorganism with an indicator gene-containing plasmid. The transformed microorganism is then infected with the parent phage or the reproduction-deficient parent phage, allowing for homologous recombination to occur and isolate a clone of the recombinant phage that is both reproduction-deficient and capable of expressing the indicator gene.

Additionally, the patent claims methods for detecting the presence of the microorganism of interest in a sample using the recombinant phage. This involves incubating the sample with the recombinant phage and detecting the product of the indicator gene. Positive detection of the indicator gene product indicates the presence of the microorganism in the sample. The method can detect as few as a single microorganism in the sample and can be applied to various sample types, including food, environmental, water, or commercial samples.

The patent also includes a kit and a system for detecting the microorganism of interest, both of which include the recombinant phage and a component for detecting the indicator gene product.

Overall, this patent describes a novel approach for detecting and identifying specific microorganisms of interest using reproduction-deficient recombinant phages and indicator genes. The method has potential applications in various fields, including food safety, environmental monitoring, and clinical diagnostics.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.