The development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has significantly improved our abilities to analyze microbial communities. NGS-based techniques such as Bacterial Profiling have enabled scientists around the world to better understand complex microbial communities in the human body or the environment and have largely replaced classical culture-dependent techniques.
Bacterial Profiling allows the accurate detection of Bacteria and Archaea in a broad variety of sample types including stool, skin, saliva, soil, and plant material. This has been shown using microbial community standards. Bacterial Profiling is based on the amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, which is a common marker for Bacteria and Archaea. The amplification of the 16S rRNA gene provides a major advantage over other techniques as it allows the analysis of Bacteria and Archaea in samples with high proportions of host DNA (e.g. from plants or humans). This makes Bacterial Profiling the method of choice for microbiome samples with relatively low numbers of Bacteria and Archaea such as plant material, tumor tissue, or body fluids.
Applications of Bacterial Profiling are diverse and include:
- Disease monitoring
- Microbial biomarker detection
- Drug development
- Characterization of environmental microbiomes