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Comparison of fluorescence and multi-angle light scattering for rapid quantitation of bacteriophage

One of the handicaps of working with bacteriophages is the long duration required to perform plaque assays. Plaque assays also impose questions about accuracy and precision relative to the scale and experience of the persons performing and interpreting them. This poster presents a pair of high precision, high accuracy chromatography-based assays that permit determination of phage concentration in less than 1 hour. Sensitivity of UV absorbance is poor because of the low concentration of phages. However, phage sensitivity is strongly amplified by monitoring the chromatogram with either fluorescence or MALS. Fluorescence works by measuring the fluorescence emission from tryptophan residues of the phage proteins. MALS works by passing a laser beam through the sample and reading the scatter produced when it encounters a particle. Larger species generate more scatter.