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Science  19 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6339, pp. 764
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6339.764-a

Microbial Testing

ChromaZona is a revolutionary system designed to help clinical microbiologists quickly and easily identify microbes on chromogenic plates, and then—by accurately analyzing zones around antibiotic discs—to determine which antibiotics to use to treat infection. It can identify microbes cultured on chromogenic agar from many major media manufacturers in under a minute. ChromaZona easily compares zone measurements to data from all organisms with minimum inhibitory concentration breakpoint values in the EUCAST (European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing) database. The software lists which antibiotics the bacteria are sensitive to, and by using the built-in expert rule database, provides guidance for potential treatment options in less than half the time needed to complete these tasks manually. The archived results are ideal for hospitals wanting to identify and monitor incidence of bacterial resistance, and could help improve infection control. ChromaZona is suitable for a Code of Federal Regulations Part 11 environment.


CovCheck is a ready-to-use tool that confirms whole-genome amplification (WGA) coverage for next-generation sequencing (NGS) downstream workflows, providing users with a valuable method for determining the quality and integrity of amplified DNA. It gives them an accurate view of the genomic coverage of amplified DNA prior to engaging in additional costly and time-consuming NGS downstream processes, such as library preparation and DNA sequencing. CovCheck is an endpoint PCR–based kit in a convenient 96-well plate format. It is able to assess all human chromosomes in a single experiment and includes 24 different sets of primer pairs, each targeting a specific human chromosome and enabling evaluation of the genomic coverage of four independent, single-cell WGA experiments simultaneously.

Shigella Monoclonal Antibodies

ViroStat has released two sets of new monoclonal antibodies to Shigella: one set specific to Shigella sonnei and another set specific to Shigella flexneri 2a. Potential applications for these antibodies include direct bacterial detection by ELISA and lateral-flow rapid tests. Shigellosis is a foodborne gastrointestinal illness caused by several species of Shigella bacteria. Transmission is via the fecal–oral route, and symptoms include cramps and diarrhea, which can progress to dysentery. S. sonnei is the leading cause of shigellosis in industrialized countries, while S. flexneri is the most common species seen in developing countries; the predominate serotype of the latter is S. flexneri 2a.

Microbial Genomics Analytics

The Microbial Genomics Pro Suite, powered by Qiagen Bioinformatics, offers scientist-friendly user guidance paired with best-in-class algorithms for metagenome assembly and comparative microbiome profiling. Pro Suite expands upon CLC Genomics Workbench, the industry-standard platform for bioinformatics computing. All analytics for microbial genomics and metagenomics come fully integrated into one scalable and enterprise-ready solution. Data and sample-metadata management is included. Pro Suite is designed to save time, compute resources, and be accessible to bioinformatics experts and nonexperts alike. Our microbiome regulates our immune system and metabolism, offers protection against pathogenic microbes, and produces essential vitamins. With Pro Suite, researchers can explore the taxonomic and functional profiles of microbiomes, and associate microbiome profiles with factors such as patient health, changing yields of agricultural crops or livestock, and the emergence of public-health threats.

Microbial Standards

ZymoBIOMICS Microbial Community Standards contain two well-defined and characterized standards to validate each step of your workflow. The first is a mock microbial community comprising eight bacteria and two fungi, which is used to validate a DNA isolation protocol. The second is a DNA standard from these same organisms for validating your sequencing and data analysis. The microbial community standards are accurately characterized, with a wide guanine–cytosine (GC) range (15%–85%), and contain negligible impurities (<0.01%). The DNA Standard is ideal for assessing biases and errors in library preparation, sequencing, and bioinformatics analyses. It serves perfectly as a microbial standard for benchmarking the performance of microbiomics or metagenomics analyses and as a control in interlab studies. This standard is also ideal for helping users construct and optimize workflows (e.g., controlling PCR chimera rate and noise in the library preparation of 16S ribosomal RNA gene–targeted sequencing, and assessing GC bias in coverage of shotgun metagenomic sequencing).

Microbiome Solutions

From sample collection, preservation, and DNA isolation to sequencing and analysis services from our highly skilled technicians, let Norgen Biotek be the one-stop shop for your microbiome needs. The microbial composition of a sample can begin to change at the point of collection. Freezing is often considered the gold standard—however, this is not always an option when collections are done off-site. Use of a chemical preservation system is becoming widely accepted by researchers trying to circumvent data analysis bias. Such a system also ensures that all types of DNA (bacterial, fungal, viral, host, etc.) will be bound during isolation. Common methods for stool DNA isolation include magnetic bead–based, column-based, 96-well, and automated options; we offer solutions using most of these methods.

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  • Newly offered instrumentation, apparatus, and laboratory materials of interest to researchers in all disciplines in academic, industrial, and governmental organizations are featured in this space. Emphasis is given to purpose, chief characteristics, and availabilty of products and materials. Endorsement by Science or AAAS of any products or materials mentioned is not implied. Additional information may be obtained from the manufacturer or supplier.

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