How to Identify Pathogenic Bacteria with DNA Sequencing

One of the challenges of combatting bacteria is identifying what type of bacteria a particular organism is. Once an organism has been identified, you will be able to take the appropriate action. Several methods are used to identify bacteria including DNA sequencing through a 16s sequencing kit.

DNA Sequencing to Identify Bacteria

In the past, bacteria were identified by their size, shape, and color. However, these methods are very time-consuming and are often not very effective when a laboratory makes a mistake. There are also new bacteria species that are discovered on a regular basis.

There might be a newer strain that is more resistant to drugs or is more pathogenic. You may be able to identify that a species that was previously thought to not be pathogenic is now pathogenic. Then, appropriate measures could be taken to protect your patients.

The Database

The bacteria you discover can be compared to a database of existing bacteria that is in the thousands after looking at the species-specific signature. If the database finds a match, you will have identified a particular species and will be able to take the appropriate action. As technology improves, it becomes more accessible. However, you will need the right supplies to be able to make use of it.

How to Test a Bacterial Colony

To be able to test the bacteria, you will need to make a live culture. This is done by scraping a colony of unknown bacteria and placing it in a tube that is filled with sterile water. Then, you must create a vortex so that the bacteria are distributed evenly in the tube.

Afterward, you will be able to perform a series of tests that will allow you to sequence DNA. Once the DNA has been sequenced, you will be able to analyze it and compare it to a database so you can determine the type of bacteria you are dealing with. You will also be able to edit the DNA and submit it to the database. If you discover a bacteria that cannot be found in the database, you can study it further.

The Benefits of a 16s Sequencing Kit

A 16s sequencing kit can assist you in this process because it provides you with a workflow that is much more rapid and easy. It's highly portable and is also very cost-effective. It also allows you to stop sequencing once you have obtained your desired results.