Development of a diagnostic multiplex polymerase chain reaction microarray assay to detect and differentiate Brucella spp.

Brucellosis is a worldwide zoonosis leading to tremendous economic losses and severe human illness. Fast and reliable laboratory tests are needed to detect disease in both humans and animals and to monitor the production of safe food products and feed. For rapid identification of the genus Brucella and differentiation of its species, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction microarray assay based on 11 signature sequences and redundant oligonucleotide probes was developed. The gene targets included genus-specific sequences in bcsp31, perA, cgs, and omp2b, as well as chromosomal regions displaying species-specific hybridization patterns. Brucella reference strains and a representative panel of 102 field isolates were unambiguously identified by their hybridization patterns. The differentiation of species, however, was limited in members of the groups B. suis bv 3/4/B. canis and B. neotomae/B. microti. In summary, the newly developed Brucella ArrayTube(R) assay is an easy-to-handle molecular test for high-throughput and parallel analysis

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