Basic Concepts of Microarrays and Potential Applications in Clinical Microbiology
Miller, Melissa B.; Tang, Yi-Wei
Summary: The introduction of in vitro nucleic acid amplification techniques, led by real-time PCR, into the clinical microbiology laboratory has transformed the laboratory detection of viruses and select bacterial pathogens. However, 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. Microarray analysis has the capability to offer robust multiplex detection but has just started to enter the diagnostic microbiology laboratory. 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. One aim of this paper is to review microarray technology, highlighting technical differences between them and each platform's advantages and disadvantages. Although the use of microarrays to generate gene expression data has become routine, applications pertinent to clinical 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 analysis of microbial infections using host genomic expression and polymorphism profiles.