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Showing posts from September, 2018

Strain typing of pathogens: how to choose?

By Tim Johnson Associate Professor, University of Minnesota

If you have dealt with bacterial disease on a poultry farm, you are probably familiar with terms like “serotyping”, “fingerprinting”, or “DNA sequencing”. The purpose of these techniques is to study strains of bacteria – for each bacteria like E. coli, there are thousands of different strains. Understanding differences between strains helps to track bacteria in a system and identify control strategies. All of the strain typing methods mentioned above are commonly used to understand the spread of a bacterial strain during a disease outbreak. However, different tests provide different information, and it is important to understand nuances between tests. Serotyping is based upon proteins on the surface of the bacteria. This has been used for many years to classify bacteria. For some bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, this is very effective because serotype correlates with the genetics of the bacteria. However, in other bacteri…