Given the fatal health conditions caused by emerging infectious pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, their rapid diagnosis is required for preventing secondary infections and guiding correct treatments. Although various molecular diagnostic methods based on nucleic acid amplification have been suggested as gold standards for identifying different species, these methods are not suitable for the rapid diagnosis of pathogens owing to their long result acquisition times and complexity. In this study, we developed a rapid bio-optical sensor that uses a ball-lensed optical fiber (BLOF) probe and an automatic analysis platform to precisely diagnose infectious pathogens. The BLOF probe is easy to align and has a high optical sensing sensitivity (1.5-fold) and a large detection range (1.2-fold) for an automatic optical sensing system. Automatic signal processing of up to 250 copies/reaction of DNA of Q-fever-causing
was achieved within 8 min. The clinical utility of this system was demonstrated with 18 clinical specimens (9 Q-fever and 9 other febrile disease samples) by measuring the resonant wavelength shift of positive or negative samples for
DNA. The results from the system revealed the stable and automatic optical signal measurement of DNA with 100% accuracy. We envision that this BLOF probe-based sensor would be a practical tool for the rapid, simple, and sensitive diagnosis of emerging infectious pathogens.