The Molecular Epidemiology section was established in spring 1996. This was in recognition of the role molecular biological data can play in epidemiological investigations. Specifically molecular strain characterization aids in the detection of infectious disease outbreaks and helps guide control efforts to protect public health, identify pseudo-outbreaks due to contamination events, and in the case of tuberculosis, distinguish between reactivation disease and reinfection. Currently all strain typing is based on Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. For Mycobacterium tuberculosis, RFLP is analyzed by Southern blot with the IS6110 probe and if necessary confirmed with the pTBN12 probe. For other bacteria, RFLP is analyzed by Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE).
Molecular Epidemiology is an evolving field and the Public Health Laboratory continues to explore new technologies and evaluate their potential for greater discriminatory power and more rapid reporting of strain characterization data.
If you are interested in Molecular Epidemiology services and believe the situation is a public health concern, please forward requests for analysis to the appropriate disease control program:
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis - TB Control at 213-744-6232
- All other bacteria - ACD at 213-240-7941
For situations that are not a public health concern, contact the Molecular Epidemiology Section directly at 213-250-8634. These services will be performed on a cost recovery basis.
||DNA fingerprinting of mycobacterium tuberculosis using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis
|| Consultation with the Molecular biology laboratory at (213) 250-8634 before submitting specimens