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 Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>