University of Leeds, UK
Modupe Ajayi is a third year PhD student at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. She is a recipient of several national and international scholarships including that for her PhD. She is driven by the passion to use protein engineering as a tool for improving the quality of life.
Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a leading cause of hospital acquired infection, and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. Point-of-care tests would be valuable for rapid diagnosis of patient with C. diff infection both in hospital and community settings. Non-antibody binding proteins are increasingly being used as alternatives to antibodies and we have developed a very stable (Tm=101oC) non-antibody binding protein called Adhiron (commercialized by Avacta Life Sciences Ltd as Affimer Type II). High quality phage display libraries have been used to identify Adhirons against >200 targets. These have potential applications including as scientific research reagents, in diagnostics, imaging, therapeutics and drug discovery. We have identified a number of specific and non-cross-reactive binders against the three well established biomarkers of C. diff infection, glutamate dehydrogenase, toxin A and toxin B. The characterization of these Adhirons and their use in developing a point-of-care diagnostic tool for C. diff infection will be presented.