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Volume 7, Number 2—April 2001
4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections

State of the Art

Molecular Approaches to Diagnosing and Managing Infectious Diseases: Practicality and Costs

Michael A. PfallerComments to Author 
Author affiliation: University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Main Article

Table 4

Genotypic methods for epidemiologic typing of microorganismsa,b

Method Examples Comments
Plasmid analysis Staphylococci Enterobacteriaceae Plasmids may be digested with restriction endonucleases
Only useful when organisms carry plasmids
Restriction endonuclease analysis of chromosomal DNA with conventional electrophoresis Enterococci
Staphylococcus aureus
Clostridium difficile
Candida spp. Large number of bands Difficult to interpret
Not amenable to computer analysis
PFGE Enterobacteriaceae
Candida spp. Fewer bands
Amenable to computer analysis
Very broad application.
Genome restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis: ribotyping, insertion sequence probe fingerprinting Enterobacteriaceae
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Candida spp. Fewer bands
Computer analysis
Sequence-based profiles
PCR-based methods: repetitive elements PCR spacer typing, selective amplification of genome restriction fragments, multilocus allelic sequence-based typing Enterobacteriaceae
Acinetobacter spp.
M. tuberculosis
HCV Crude extracts and small amounts of DNA may suffice
Library probe genotypic hybridization schemes: multilocus probe dot-blot patterns, high-density oligonucleotide patterns Burkholderia cepacia
S. aureus
M. tuberculosis Unambiguous yes-no result
Less discrimination than other methods
Couple with DNA chip technology

aThe table contains examples of available methods and applications and is not intended to be all-inclusive.
bAdapted from Pfaller (2).

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