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Traditional and molecular techniques for the study of emerging bacterial diseases: one laboratory's perspective.

Houpikian P, Raoult D - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2002)

Bottom Line: Identification of emerging bacterial pathogens generally results from a chain of events involving microscopy, serology, molecular tools, and culture.Because of the spectacular molecular techniques developed in the last decades, some authors think that these techniques will shortly supplant culture.Serology provided indirect evidence for causality.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Unité des Rickettsies, Faculté de Médecine de Marseille, France.

ABSTRACT
Identification of emerging bacterial pathogens generally results from a chain of events involving microscopy, serology, molecular tools, and culture. Because of the spectacular molecular techniques developed in the last decades, some authors think that these techniques will shortly supplant culture. The key steps that led to the discovery of emerging bacteria have been reviewed to determine the real contribution of each technique. Historically, microscopy has played a major role. Serology provided indirect evidence for causality. Isolation and culture were crucial, as all emerging bacteria have been grown on artificial media or cell lines or at least propagated in animals. With the use of broad-range polymerase chain reaction, some bacteria have been identified or detected in new clinical syndromes. Culture has irreplaceable advantages for studying emerging bacterial diseases, as it allows antigenic studies, antibiotic susceptibility testing, experimental models, and genetic studies to be carried out, and remains the ultimate goal of pathogen identification.

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Demonstration of Bartonella henselae in cardiac valve of a patient with blood culture-negative endocarditis. The bacilli appear as black granulations (Warthin Starry, original magnification X250).
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Figure 2: Demonstration of Bartonella henselae in cardiac valve of a patient with blood culture-negative endocarditis. The bacilli appear as black granulations (Warthin Starry, original magnification X250).

Mentions: Gram stain has also proven useful to routinely diagnose H. pylori and H. heilmanii in the gastric mucosa of patients with gastritis, as well as that of B. henselae in cardiac valves (10,24,25). Silver impregnation is among the most useful methods for detecting bacteria, especially for that stained weakly with a tissue Gram stain. Thus, bacillary angiomatosis lesions were found to contain clusters of bacilli on Warthin-Starry staining 2 years before the etiologic role of B. henselae was elucidated. With the same stain, this bacterium was also detected in cardiac valves of patients with endocarditis (Figure 2) (41). The first observation of Whipple agent was reported in 1907 by George Whipple in silver-stained sections of a lymph node, although the author did not link this observation with the cause of the disease (2).


Traditional and molecular techniques for the study of emerging bacterial diseases: one laboratory's perspective.

Houpikian P, Raoult D - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2002)

Demonstration of Bartonella henselae in cardiac valve of a patient with blood culture-negative endocarditis. The bacilli appear as black granulations (Warthin Starry, original magnification X250).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3369584&req=5

Figure 2: Demonstration of Bartonella henselae in cardiac valve of a patient with blood culture-negative endocarditis. The bacilli appear as black granulations (Warthin Starry, original magnification X250).
Mentions: Gram stain has also proven useful to routinely diagnose H. pylori and H. heilmanii in the gastric mucosa of patients with gastritis, as well as that of B. henselae in cardiac valves (10,24,25). Silver impregnation is among the most useful methods for detecting bacteria, especially for that stained weakly with a tissue Gram stain. Thus, bacillary angiomatosis lesions were found to contain clusters of bacilli on Warthin-Starry staining 2 years before the etiologic role of B. henselae was elucidated. With the same stain, this bacterium was also detected in cardiac valves of patients with endocarditis (Figure 2) (41). The first observation of Whipple agent was reported in 1907 by George Whipple in silver-stained sections of a lymph node, although the author did not link this observation with the cause of the disease (2).

Bottom Line: Identification of emerging bacterial pathogens generally results from a chain of events involving microscopy, serology, molecular tools, and culture.Because of the spectacular molecular techniques developed in the last decades, some authors think that these techniques will shortly supplant culture.Serology provided indirect evidence for causality.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Unité des Rickettsies, Faculté de Médecine de Marseille, France.

ABSTRACT
Identification of emerging bacterial pathogens generally results from a chain of events involving microscopy, serology, molecular tools, and culture. Because of the spectacular molecular techniques developed in the last decades, some authors think that these techniques will shortly supplant culture. The key steps that led to the discovery of emerging bacteria have been reviewed to determine the real contribution of each technique. Historically, microscopy has played a major role. Serology provided indirect evidence for causality. Isolation and culture were crucial, as all emerging bacteria have been grown on artificial media or cell lines or at least propagated in animals. With the use of broad-range polymerase chain reaction, some bacteria have been identified or detected in new clinical syndromes. Culture has irreplaceable advantages for studying emerging bacterial diseases, as it allows antigenic studies, antibiotic susceptibility testing, experimental models, and genetic studies to be carried out, and remains the ultimate goal of pathogen identification.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus