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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Bricker, Betsy

Submitted to: Congress of Spanish Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2005
Publication Date: 9/19/2005
Citation: Bricker, B.J. 2005. Molecular Techniques for Typing Brucella in Livestock.In: Proceedings of XX Congress of Spanish Society for Microbiology, September 19-22, 2005, Caceres, Spain. p. 245-248.

Interpretive Summary: When a disease epidemic occurs in man or animal, it is important to find the source of the epidemic to prevent further spread of disease. Even if you know the type of microbe that caused the outbreak it can be very hard to know or prove where the microbe came from. Using technology similar to that developed for DNA fingerprinting of humans, we have developed a new assay, called the HOOF-Print Assay, for DNA fingerprinting strains of bacteria, specifically, the bacteria that cause brucellosis (a disease that triggers abortions in cattle and other livestock). But with any new type of test, it is very important to evaluate whether the test does what it is supposed to do, whether the results are reproducible, and whether the new test is an improvement over the existing tests approved for that purpose. This paper is a review of the process that we used to evaluate the HOOF-Print Assay. During the evaluation process we looked at several important criteria: 1) how reliable the test was at determining a DNA fingerprint pattern for each sample, 2) how reproducible the results were when the same samples were tested repeatedly, and 3) how successful the test was at identifying differences between samples (different strains of the bacteria). Based on the evaluation results, the HOOF-Print Assay is a much better test than the conventional tests now in use for typing strains of this disease causing bacteria.

Technical Abstract: Throughout history, infectious diseases have had a serious impact on human and animal health and welfare. These diseases can take a considerable toll on individual and national economies as well. For many diseases, national programs to control the incidence and spread of infection have been implemented. To be successful, these programs require efficient means for identifying the disease agent and finding its source. With recent developments and improvements in molecular techniques, these tasks have become easier. The polymerase chain reaction is currently used to identify numerous disease agents. The technique is rapid, sensitive, economical and often highly specific. Other technologies have been developed, based on PCR, for the identification and typing of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Evaluating and validating these new diagnostic assays is a difficult undertaking. This paper will describe our experience with developing and evaluating the HOOF-Print assay, a new technique to subtype strains of the pathogenic bacteria that cause brucellosis.

Last Modified: 05/24/2017
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