The Riboprinter from DuPont is a microbial characterization system. By using DNA from bacterial colonies, it is able to identify both the genus and species of contaminants as well as provide strain-level information. With access to an integrated database of nearly 7,000 patterns encompassing 180 genera and 1,400 species, taxonomic identification capabilities are robust and reliable. This magnitude of sensitivity allows for mapping of microbial environments, monitoring of spikes and trends, and identification of contamination points, all in a precise and efficient manner. In order to analyze more of the bacterial genome, this system examines regions encoding the 5S and 23S sequences (as well as the spacer regions and flanking genes) in addition to the 16S rRNA sequence. By doing so, better differentiation can be made between intraspecies strains, including those with a common 16S sequence.
Automated analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and specific targeting of rRNA coding regions in the bacterial genome are utilized along with restriction enzymes to generate a fingerprint. Fingerprints are digitized by the system so that they may be compared with patterns in the reference database. As many as eight bacterial isolates can be run simultaneously with a wait time of under eight hours for results and new samples can be loaded into the characterization unit every two hours. In this way, users can perform analysis of as many as 32 batches in a typical workday to provide excellent efficiency at high throughputs. Each sample is automatically recorded with a genetic snapshot to create a history of information that can be managed and followed, generating a wealth of information for more complete and expedited bacterial investigation.
With its novel technology, the Riboprinter offers full automation while maintaining accuracy and reproducibility. In doing so, ease of use is significantly increased while errors made via manual technique are circumvented. System software provides data that is both comprehensive and intuitive, negating the need for subjective analysis of results. Loading and operation are practical and hassle-free, and the ability to use either prepackaged or custom-configured restriction enzymes means this platform gives optimal flexibility in ribotyping bacteria. The ability to characterize pathogens, bacteria, or beneficial organisms is invaluable to quality control in industries such as pharma and food, and also benefits those individuals in fields such as epidemiology and public health.
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