Pathogen Detection Methods: Scientists Across the Globe Essay

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Pathogen Detection Methods:

Scientists across the globe have been able to string total microbial genomes effectively and rapidly due to advances in the DNA sequencing technology. This is largely because the access to the DNA sequences of whole microbial genomes provides new opportunities to evaluate and understand micro-organism at the molecular level. Consequently, many scientists have been able to discover pathogens within biological tissues and examine variations in gene expression in reaction to the invasion of pathogens.

Research Activities in Pathogen Detection:

Pathogen detection methods have been utilized as important parts of research in various fields like food safety, biodefense, pathology, clinical research, drug discovery, forensics, animal health care, and diagnostics. As terrorism has grown to become a major global threat, bioweapons or biological weapons, which are pathogenic organisms and their toxic substances, have become a pernicious threat. These products can be released into the air and water systems or even disseminated, thus requiring appropriate measures to deal with them (Gluodenis & Harrison, 2004).
As a result, the best possible method for dealing with the threat of bioterrorism basically involves the effective implementation of detection and containment procedures as well as treating affected persons immediately. The most common methods used for pathogen detection are Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), culture and colony counting, and immunology-based techniques. These efforts basically entail DNA analysis or evaluation in PCR, counting of bacteria in culture and counting techniques, and counting antigen-antibody interactions in immunology-based methods. In most cases, these techniques are usually combined together to produce more robust results in pathogen detection.

While Polymerase Chain Reaction requires less-time than other detection methods, it's a nucleic acid amplification technology that was developed in mid 80s and is commonly used for detection of bacteria. The major disadvantage of these techniques is that the analyst is unable to differentiate between the visible and non-visible cells since DNA always exists despite of whether the cell is alive….....

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