The ‘Molecular diagnostics’ research program focuses on the development and evaluation of new molecular-based approaches for rapidly and accurately assessing biological samples for the presence of specific pathogens as well as other microorganisms of interest. More specifically, molecular assays based on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), real-time PCR and DNA arrays are being developed and exploited for fast and reliable (multiplex) detection, identification, and quantification of target organisms. These techniques are then further adapted for high-throughput analyses in practical laboratory settings as well as for epidemiological and ecological studies.
New developments are done in close collaboration with PME&BIM.
One of the partners is MicroBioMetrix, an ISO17025 accreditated laboratory for routine microbial testing.
Research and consulting - topics
- Development of new DNA- and RNA-based diagnostic tools for rapid microbial detection and identification
- Development of DNA arrays to simultaneously detect an expanding set of microorganisms. Examples include DNA Multiscan® (plant diseases), DNA Pisciscan® (fish diseases), a DNA array for the simultaneous detection of all known Legionella species and several of its hosts, a DNA array to discriminate all known Listeria species, and a DNA array for the simultaneous detection of several sugar thick juice contaminants
- Development of specific (real-time) PCR assays
- Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of microbial strains isolated from various matrices
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