Development of electrochemical DNA biosensor for equine hindgut acidosis detection

Joshua Davies, Carol Thomas, Mohammad Rizwan, Christopher Gwenin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The pH drop in the hindgut of the horse is caused by lactic acid-producing bacteria which are abundant when a horse’s feeding regime is excessively carbohydrate rich. This drop in pH below six causes hindgut acidosis and may lead to laminitis. Lactic acid-producing bacteria Streptococcus equinus and Mitsuokella jalaludinii have been found to produce high amounts of L-lactate and D-lactate, respectively. Early detection of increased levels of these bacteria could allow the horse owner to tailor the horse’s diet to avoid hindgut acidosis and subsequent laminitis. Therefore, 16s ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequences were identified and modified to obtain target single stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from these bacteria. Complementary single stranded DNAs were designed from the modified target sequences to form capture probes. Binding between capture probe and target single stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (ssDNA) in solution has been studied by gel electrophoresis. Among pairs of different capture probes and target single stranded DNA, hybridization of Streptococcus equinus capture probe 1 (SECP1) and Streptococcus equinus target 1 (SET1) was portrayed as gel electrophoresis. Adsorptive stripping voltammetry was utilized to study the binding of thiol modified SECP1 over gold on glass substrates and these studies showed a consistent binding signal of thiol modified SECP1 and their hybridization with SET1 over the gold working electrode. Cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were employed to examine the binding of thiol modified SECP1 on the gold working electrode and hybridization of thiol modified SECP1 with the target single stranded DNA. Both demonstrated the gold working electrode surface was modified with a capture probe layer and hybridization of the thiol bound ssDNA probe with target DNA was indicated. Therefore, the proposed electrochemical biosensor has the potential to be used for the detection of the non-synthetic bacterial DNA target responsible for equine hindgut acidosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2319
Number of pages16
Issue number7
Early online date26 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Streptococcus equinus
  • Mitsuokella jalaludinii
  • Laminitis
  • DNA hybridization
  • Equine hindgut acidosis
  • Electrochemical biosensor
  • Veterinary diagnostics
  • Point-of-care testing


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