Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 29, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem in human and animal health. Detection of specific genes that cause antimicrobial resistance in bacteria is essential both for research and diagnosis and treatment purposes. DNA microarrays are a leap forward in gene detection technology because they can assay for potentially hundreds of resistance genes in a single test. Several different types of microarrays have been developed, and all detect resistance genes by DNA hybridization; however, they each function differently and produce data with different qualities. These variations must be considered when using the assay and interpreting the data collected to insure that conclusions are valid and comparable to other detection techniques. This book chapter summarizes the steps used to design and construct antimicrobial resistance gene microarrays, considers how different microarray formats affect the assay, and reviews the kind of data produced by different assays.
Technical Abstract: Detection of antimicrobial resistance genes is essential for research and an important tool for clinical diagnostics. Most techniques used to identify resistance genes can only detect one or a few genes per assay, whereas DNA microarray technology can detect thousands of genes in a single assay. Several different types of microarrays have been developed, and all detect resistance genes by DNA hybridization. While some people may consider all microarrays to be equal, many are in fact distinctly different from one another. Microarrays can be constructed from PCR product or oligonucleotide probes, some arrays are printed on glass slides, and others have probes synthesized in situ directly on the substrate surface. The different construction techniques, platforms, and probe designs all affect the ability of the assays to detect different types of resistance genes. Some detect a few genes, others detect hundreds of genes, and some detect whole genes, while others detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that lead to resistance. These differences must be considered when designing and using a microarray and in interpreting the data collected. This chapter summarizes the steps used to design and construct antimicrobial resistance gene microarrays, considers how different microarray platforms affect the assay, and reviews the type of data produced by different assays. While this technology has been a leap forward for antimicrobial resistance gene detection, the information it produces is only useful if the differences of the various technologies are understood.