Molecular Methods for Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance

Muna F. Anjum, Ea Zankari, Henrik Hasman

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Abstract

The increase in bacteria harboring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem because there is a paucity of antibiotics available to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections in humans and animals. Detection of AMR present in bacteria that may pose a threat to veterinary and public health is routinely performed using standardized phenotypic methods. Molecular methods are often used in addition to phenotypic methods but are set to replace them in many laboratories due to the greater speed and accuracy they provide in detecting the underlying genetic mechanism(s) for AMR. In this article we describe some of the common molecular methods currently used for detection of AMR genes. These include PCR, DNA microarray, whole-genome sequencing and metagenomics, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. The strengths and weaknesses of these methods are discussed, especially in the context of implementing them for routine surveillance activities on a global scale for mitigating the risk posed by AMR worldwide. Based on current popularity and ease of use, PCR and single-isolate whole-genome sequencing seem irreplaceable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Volume5
Issue number6
Number of pages17
ISSN2165-0497
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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