Theranostics 2021; 11(18):9133-9161. doi:10.7150/thno.61804 This issue


Oligonucleotide aptamers for pathogen detection and infectious disease control

Quanyuan Wan, Xiaohui Liu, Youli Zu

Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA

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Wan Q, Liu X, Zu Y. Oligonucleotide aptamers for pathogen detection and infectious disease control. Theranostics 2021; 11(18):9133-9161. doi:10.7150/thno.61804. Available from

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Graphic abstract

During an epidemic or pandemic, the primary task is to rapidly develop precise diagnostic approaches and effective therapeutics. Oligonucleotide aptamer-based pathogen detection assays and control therapeutics are promising, as aptamers that specifically recognize and block pathogens can be quickly developed and produced through simple chemical synthesis. This work reviews common aptamer-based diagnostic techniques for communicable diseases and summarizes currently available aptamers that target various pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Moreover, this review discusses how oligonucleotide aptamers might be leveraged to control pathogen propagation and improve host immune system responses. This review offers a comprehensive data source to the further develop aptamer-based diagnostics and therapeutics specific for infectious diseases.

Keywords: aptamers, aptasensors, pathogen detection, disease control, immune system