Homogenization Utilized in Isolation of Pathogens from Tissues

By Aimee O'Driscoll, 16 February 2014

Studying the internal pathogen component of tissues and animals is an essential factor in the field of infectious disease research; however, the disruption of such tissues in order to isolate an intact, viable pathogen for quantification or further experimentation and testing is usually a technical, laboratory problem.

Bead-beating technology has been established in order to homogenize an extensive number of animal or plant tissues, or even microorganisms.

The technology includes the utilization of three different tube sizes (usually 0.5 mL, 2 mL, or 7 mL), which are prefilled with beads for simple and efficient extraction of DNA, RNA, as well as protein. Such technology is making its way into infectious disease research labs as it successfully isolates pathogens from their host tissue. This method has been found to effectively, and uniformly disrupt animals cells burdened with pathogens allowing researchers to quantify internal infectious load.

The bead-beating procedure is usually done as a preparative step prior to pathogen DNA extraction. Bead-beating is a mechanical disruption method wherein glass or zirconia beads are added to the tubes containing samples, which are then shaken causing collisions between the beads and samples, within bead-beating disruption apparatuses or equipment. This procedure has become more common as a method for extracting proteins from plant tissues, or for extraction pathogenic nucleic acids from yeasts, and organs. By doing the bead-beating procedure as a preparatory step to physically disrupt cells, the extraction efficiency of pathogenic DNA has improved in a sense that greater yield and better quality of DNA has been obtained from the samples under various conditions.


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