Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Method for Detecting Antibiotic Resistance: Mutations Emit Light Signals

29.11.2006
The exchange of a single gene building block in the genetic material of the tuberculosis bacterium leads to resistance to the antibiotic rifampicin.

Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the Universities of Heidelberg and Bielefeld, Germany, have developed a highly sensitive test for detecting this genetic alteration at the level of a single molecule, thus providing information about the resistance status of an infected person.

Many resistances to antibiotics are based on specific mutations in the genetic material of the infectious agents. In the case of life-threatening infections it is vital to determine rapidly which medication will work for the patient. However, commonly used methods of resistance detection are too time-consuming, particularly with microorganisms such as tuberculosis bacteria, which grow very slowly in the culture dish.

Scientists headed by Dr. Jens-Peter Knemeyer of the Division of Functional Genome Analysis at the DKFZ have combined a hybridization method, where small DNA probes bind highly specifically and exclusively to the mutated gene sequence, with confocal microscopy technology. The DNA probes are coupled to a fluorescent dye that flashes under laser light. However, this light signal is emitted only if the probe attaches to the target sequence in the bacterial genetic material. ‘Unbound’ probe molecules do not emit a signal. Each of these tiny light flashes that occur when the probe and the target molecule bind to each other, detects a single mutated DNA molecule.

... more about:
»DNA »Genetic »resistance

By measuring the duration and decay times of the light flashes, the researchers distinguish between real measurement results and the ubiquitous background fluorescence: Due to chemical properties of the molecules involved, spontaneous fluorescence decays much more quickly than the signal emitted by the dye-labeled probe.

Detection of resistance causing point mutations in the genetic material of the tuberculosis bacterium is just one of numerous possible applications of the new method called single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. The method has a big advantage: Instead of recording light flashes in a sample solution, as is done in antibiotic resistance detection, the investigation method can also be used in living cells. Dr. Jörg Hoheisel, head of the Division of Functional Genome Analysis at the DKFZ, explains: “Just as we can detect DNA mutations, we can also use suitable probes to detect all molecules in a cell that are characteristic of a specific disease. Since the test identifies single molecules, it is highly sensitive – but reliable at the same time, because we have an internal control using the decay times.”

Julia Rautenstrauch | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dkfz.de

Further reports about: DNA Genetic resistance

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>