Rapid diagnosis and treatment of disease is often based on the identification and characterization of causative agents derived from phenotypic characteristics. This can be laborious and time consuming, often requiring many skilled personnel and a large amount of lab space. However, the introduction of nucleic acid amplification techniques into molecular biology has transformed the laboratory detection of pathogens. The progression of the molecular diagnostic revolution currently relies on the ability to efficiently and accurately offer multiplex detection and characterization for a variety of infectious disease pathogens. DNA microarray analysis has the capability to offer robust multiplex detection. Multiple microarray platforms exist, including printed double-stranded DNA and oligonucleotide arrays, in situ-synthesized arrays, high-density bead arrays, electronic microarrays, and suspension bead arrays. The aim of this paper was to review DNA microarray technology, highlighting two major types: the oligonucleotide-based array and the PCR product-based array. Although, the use of microarrays to generate gene expression data has become routine, applications pertinent to microbiology continue to rapidly expand. This review highlights uses of microarray technology that impact diagnostic microbiology, including the detection and identification of pathogens, determination of antimicrobial resistance, epidemiological strain typing, and determination of virulence factors.
Key words: DNA microarray, applications, microbiology.
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