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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2008, Article ID 314762, 10 pages
Research Article

Combining Microarray Technology and Molecular Epidemiology to Identify Genes Associated with Invasive Group B Streptococcus

1Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2Program in Bioinformatics, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, USA
3Fargo VA Medical Center, Fargo, ND 58102, USA

Received 29 August 2007; Accepted 29 November 2007

Academic Editor: Joshua P. Metlay

Copyright © 2008 Lixin Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many bacterial species function as both commensals and pathogens; we used this dual nature to develop a high-throughput molecular epidemiological approach to identifying bacterial virulence genes. We applied our approach to Group B Streptococcus (GBS). Three representative commensal and one invasive GBS isolates were selected as tester strains from a population-based collection. We used microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization to identify open reading frames (ORFs) present in two sequenced invasive strains, but absent or divergent in tester strains. We screened 23 variable ORFs against 949 GBS isolates using a GBS Library on a Slide (LOS) microarray platform. Four ORFs occurred more frequently in invasive than commensal isolates, and one appeared more frequently in commensal isolates. Comparative hybridization using an oligonucleotide microarray, combined with epidemiologic screening using the LOS microarray platform, enabled rapid identification of bacterial genes potentially associated with pathogenicity.