Newsletter Archive >> Spring 2011 >> Microbial identification by gene sequencing comes to Lancaster Labs

Microbial identification by gene sequencing comes to Lancaster Labs

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by Mike Yunginger, Manager, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

In order to meet microorganism identification needs of our customers, Lancaster Laboratories has recently purchased an Applied Biosystems MicroSeq® Microbial Identification System for our Lancaster site. Since the spring of 2009, DNA material was prepared at Lancaster Laboratories and shipped to our European facility in Dungarvan, Ireland, for genetic sequencing and identification. By having a MicroSeq® on site, Lancaster Laboratories will now be able to offer a faster turnaround time at a competitive price for our US customer base.

Genetic sequencing is becoming the preferred technology for microorganism identification in the pharmaceutical industry. MicroSeq® offers several advantages over the traditional phenotypic and biochemical techniques. The system is easy to use, follows a standardized procedure, can identify a single colony (living or dead), and can provide a faster turnaround time with accurate and reproducible results. Additionally, one system can be used to identify bacteria, yeast or mold isolates.

The MicroSeq® uses technology that automatically sequences the universal 16S ribosomal RNA region gene for bacterial isolates and the D2 region of the 26S RNA gene for yeast and mold isolates. Once a sequence is determined, the MicroSeq® compares it to over 3,000 validated sequences in its database libraries, and the software matches the unknown sample to a % match or closest match based on sequence alignment and phylogenic tree. The MicroSeq® system has been fully validated by Lancaster Laboratories and is cGMP compliant.

In addition to the MicroSeq®, Lancaster Laboratories offers two other microbial identification tools. Where microbial identification characterization to the strain level is required, Lancaster Laboratories performs the identification using a Dupont Qualicon RiboPrinter®. This system provides genetics based solution when performing investigations that require identifying trends in the microbial environment to the strain level. The RiboPrinter® is dynamic and changes each time a new sample is run, allowing comparison reporting to historical data.

Lastly, Lancaster Laboratories has a MIDI Microbial Identification System. The phenotypic based system offers a fast, cost-effective alternative to the genotypic microbial systems. The MIDI is often used for performing microbial identifications from environmental monitoring samples.

No matter what your microbial identification needs, Lancaster Laboratories has a technology that will work for you. For more information on microbial identification, call Pharmaceutical Business Development at 717-656-2300.