Genome Technology Center

Applied Molecular Inversion Probes for pathogen diagnostics

Michael Akhras

The aim of the project is to develop Molecular Inversion Probes (MIPs) for pathogen identification and characterization. Today's available pathogen detection methods are either

The later method is in most commonly based on PCR amplification and validation using either hybridization assays or sequencing.

The Molecular Inversion Probe assay (Hardenbol, Baner et al. 2003) is a post PCR method and avoids many limitations of the other detection methods, it also opens a whole new door for multiplexing assays (Hardenbol, Yu et al. 2005). Briefly MIP is based on hybridization of a synthetic nucleic-acid probe to a target DNA and through a series of reactions the successfully hybridized probes will be PCR amplified using general primers.
The talk will cover the advantages of the MIP method, MIP design strategies and a novel construction method. As a model organism the cancer-causative Human Papillomavirus (HPV) was chosen for this project. HPV is a small dsDNA virus (approximately 8000 bp). There are over a hundred described HPV genotypes and our method intends to detect 24 of the most pathogenic types simultaneously. The talk will focus on the project goals and results generated so far regarding validation, quantification and identification. As a conclusion I will briefly mention a very exciting clinical application, a multiplexed multiplex MIP assay, which is currently under investigation.

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