Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)

A review of the “gold standard” for bacteria typing and current alternatives

Hui Min Neoh, Xin Ee Tan, Hassriana Fazilla Sapri, Toh Leong Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is considered the “gold standard” for bacteria typing. The method involves enzyme restriction of bacteria DNA, separation of the restricted DNA bands using a pulsed-field electrophoresis chamber, followed by clonal assignment of bacteria based on PFGE banding patterns. Various PFGE protocols have been developed for typing different bacteria, leading it to be one of the most widely used methods for phylogenetic studies, food safety surveillance, infection control and outbreak investigations. On the other hand, as PFGE is lengthy and labourious, several PCR-based typing methods can be used as alternatives for research purposes. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) have also been proposed for bacteria typing. In fact, as WGS provides more information, such as antimicrobial resistance and virulence of the tested bacteria in comparison to PFGE, more and more laboratories are currently transitioning from PFGE to WGS for bacteria typing. Nevertheless, PFGE will remain an affordable and relevant technique for small laboratories and hospitals in years to come.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103935
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume74
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis
pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
gold
electrokinesis
gel
Bacteria
bacterium
bacteria
Genome
genome
Hospital Laboratories
outbreak investigation
Food Safety
DNA
DNA Restriction Enzymes
Infection Control
food safety
matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry
virulence
Disease Outbreaks

Keywords

  • Bacteria typing
  • Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) : A review of the “gold standard” for bacteria typing and current alternatives. / Neoh, Hui Min; Tan, Xin Ee; Sapri, Hassriana Fazilla; Tan, Toh Leong.

In: Infection, Genetics and Evolution, Vol. 74, 103935, 01.10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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