NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The non-profit Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute has issued a set of guidelines aimed at helping researchers involved in identifying and classifying bacteria and fungi using DNA sequencing.
By establishing interpretive criteria for identifying microorganisms, the CLSI hopes to help “catalyze the entry of molecular microbiology into clinical usage,” CLSI said in a statement.
Because broad-range DNA sequencing for routine clinical use has not been well delineated, CLSI states in the report, there is a need to develop “a systematic and uniform approach” to identifying these microorganisms.
The guideline, “Interpretive Criteria for Identification of Bacteria and Fungi by DNA Target Sequencing; Approved Guideline,” reviews issues concerning DNA target sequences; sequence length and quality; intergenus, intragenus, interspecies, and intraspecies variability; and database selection.
The guideline emphasizes microorganisms that are clinically relevant or commonly encountered in a clinical lab.
It specifies recommendations for clinical labs that use amplification and Sanger-based sequencing for identifying bacteria, mycobacteria, and fungi from cultured clinical isolates. CLSI offers guidelines for selection of DNA targets and target size and establishes quality control parameters for amplification and sequencing.
The report also offers guidelines for measurement of the quality of sequence, assessing reference sequences and databases, and comparison of sequences for identification. It also establishes interpretive criteria for identity scores from gene sequencing and reports strategies that are clinically relevant for specific groups and microorganisms.
While molecular technology has “made some inroads into clinical microbiology,” CLSI stated in the report, developments are in early phases and these guidelines are aimed at expanding the rapid, accurate, and economical identification of clinically relevant microorganisms.
The CLSI report is being sold through the institute for $120. More information is available at the CLSI website.