Physical and Biochemical Methods

Physical and biochemical analysis of components of cells and metabolites of cells have also been used for identification of anaerobes. Fingerprinting techniques have been explored to identify anaerobes by matching profiles from unknown cultures with known profiles in the data base. One such approach is the gas-liquid chromatography method popularized by the VPI Anaerobic Laboratory (45). Mitruka (51) provided a detailed discussion on this method. The Hewlett-Packard company developed a procedure to fingerprint the fatty acid profiles of microorgan isms, including anaerobes, using a high-performance liquid chromatography technique. The AMBIS system involves computer-integrated fingerprinting of electropho-retically separated labeled proteins of bacteria to match profiles of unknowns versus knowns. In all these systems, these cultures must be pure and grown anaerobically before accurate identification can be made. Again, the database must be from the appropriate sources for the identification to be accurate.

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