Science Questions

Can we have multiple-bacteria infections?

Tue, 20th Mar 2012

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Android Neox, Second Life asked:

How do you know you're getting the sequence of just one strain of bacterium rather than a mixture?


Estee -  At the moment, the whole genome sequencing that were doing can only be done from a pure bacterial culture.  We usually know in that situation that when we pick a colony, we pick one or two colonies from a plate, we can be pretty certain that its a single strain, so a single bacterial isolate.  However, patients can obviously present with polymicrobial infections and again, wed be able to tell that from looking at the agar plate.  There'd be bugs that look different on the plate. But at the moment when we sequence them, we pick one or two colonies of identical looking organisms and we know then that were sequencing one strain.


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