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Trends Microbiol. 2004 Dec;12(12):537-44.

What do microarrays really tell us about M. tuberculosis?

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 0TU, UK.


Bacterial pathogens adapt to their host environments to a large extent through switching on complex transcriptional programmes, and whole-genome microarray experiments promise to reveal this complexity. There has been a recent burst of articles reporting transcriptome analyses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, including for the first time studies in macrophages and mice. We review gene expression reports, and compare them with each other and with microarray-based gene essentiality studies, revealing at times a startling lack of correlation. Additionally, we suggest a standardization format for the submission of processed data for publication, to facilitate cross-experiment analyses.

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