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Front Biosci. 2007 Jan 1;12:2658-69.

Bacterial DNA microarrays for clinical microbiology: the early logarithmic phase.

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Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099, USA.


In this era of coexistence of high-throughput sequencing technologies and serious difficulties in the management of both common and novel infectious syndromes, new techniques which improve the study of micro-organisms is timely. In bacteriology, the most important subjects are bacterial pathogenicity, discovery of the genomic complexity of bacteria, and the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance traits. From the clinical point of view, genetic testing is flanking phenotypic testing for the assessment of new, difficult to test antibiotic resistance traits, and for correlations with the microbial behaviour in vivo. The demand for faster, comprehensive and highly parallel microbial diagnostics is also cogent even at the basic laboratory level, where the ultimate objective is saving lives. In this setting, DNA microarrays offer a pivotal contribution by allowing performance of hybridization experiments in highly parallel formats, with an increasing reliability. Not only they are useful in deciphering host and microbial pathophysiology, they can also make the difference in the management of prognostic and therapeutic aspects of many diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the current use and the potential of DNA microarrays in clinical bacteriology, and several applications and technical solutions are discussed.

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