In addition to our strain typing service (AccuGENX-ST®), we offer automated ribotyping for strain-level characterization of bacterial isolates (code: BacRib). This fragment-based technology utilizes restriction enzymes to target and cut regions of the ribosomal RNA genes (5S, 16S, 23S and the spacer region including Glu-tRNA), generating a DNA fingerprint that is unique to the organism at the strain level. This DNA fingerprint is known as a RiboPrint® pattern.
The RiboPrinter® system groups together samples whose RiboPrint® patterns fall within a fixed degree of similarity. These patterns can be generated prior or subsequent to each other and be used to determine the level of similarity between isolates as part of a tracking and trending program. We build and maintain a custom library for each customer who submits samples for ribotyping. Each time the customer submits a new sample, it will be compared to all of their other previous samples in their custom library and assigned to a RiboGroup.
In some cases, ribotyping is ineffective, as some species have very little diversity within the ribosomal RNA operon analyzed by the RiboPrinter®. In these cases, sequence-based methods for strain typing and characterization (SLST and MLST) can provide a much higher level of discrimination and repeatability than automated ribotyping and should be strongly considered.