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Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb;4(2):100-11.

Chips with everything: DNA microarrays in infectious diseases.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Victoria, Australia.


Two developments are set to revolutionise research in and clinical management of infectious diseases. First, the completion of the human genome project together with the sequencing of many pathogen genomes, and second, the development of microarray technology. This review explains the principles underlying DNA microarrays and highlights the uses to which they are being put to investigate the molecular basis of infectious diseases. Pathogen studies enable identification of both known and novel organisms, understanding of genetic evolution, and investigation of determinants of pathogenicity. Host studies show the complexities of development and activation of both innate and adaptive immunity. Host-pathogen studies allow global analysis of gene expression during pathogenesis. Microarray technology will accelerate our understanding of the complex genetic processes underlying the interaction between microorganisms and the host, with consequent improvements in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases.

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