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Respiratory infections are the major cause of death from infectious disease worldwide. Multiplexed diagnostic approaches are essential as many respiratory viruses have indistinguishable symptoms. We created self-assembled DNA nanobait that can simultaneously identify multiple short RNA targets. The nanobait approach relies on specific target selection via toehold-mediated strand displacement and rapid readout via nanopore sensing. Here we show that this platform can concurrently identify several common respiratory viruses, detecting a panel of short targets of viral nucleic acids from multiple viruses. Our nanobait can be easily reprogrammed to discriminate viral variants with single-nucleotide resolution, as we demonstrated for several key SARS-CoV-2 variants. Last, we show that the nanobait discriminates between samples extracted from oropharyngeal swabs from negative- and positive-SARS-CoV-2 patients without preamplification. Our system allows for the multiplexed identification of native RNA molecules, providing a new scalable approach for the diagnostics of multiple respiratory viruses in a single assay.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Nanotechnol

Publication Date