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PNA Technology

Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) Probes

PNA molecules are DNA mimics in which the negatively charged sugar phosphate backbone found in DNA and RNA is replaced with a non-charged polyamide or “peptide” backbone. PNA probes contain the same nucleotide bases as DNA and follow standard Watson-Crick base-pairing rules while hybridizing to complementary nucleic acid sequences.

The synthetic backbone provides PNA probes with unique hybridization characteristics. While DNA probes must overcome a destabilizing electrostatic repulsion between negatively charged backbones, the non-charged PNA backbone enables rapid and highly specific binding to nucleic acid targets.

PNA vs DNA

Identification by Whole Cell “Molecular” Analysis

PNA Technology

Bacteria and yeast produce an abundance of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) that contain regions of highly conserved, species-specific genetic sequences. Those rRNA sequences are ideal targets for molecular probes and enable very fast and accurate identification of bacterial and yeast pathogens.

QuickFISH and PNA FISH® employ fluorescent-labeled PNA probes to target the species-specific rRNA sequences in a highly sensitive and specific Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) assay that enable whole cell visualization of the target pathogen(s) using fluorescence microscopy. The assay requires only limited sample prep as cells do not need to be lysed to isolate genetic material, allowing for a simple test procedure with visual results that match Gram-stain morphology.

Whole Cell Analysis image

 Whole Cell Analysis (WCA)

A unique property of PNA Technology is the use of fluorescence-tagged molecular probes to target naturally amplified, genetic markers such as ribosomal RNA (rRNA) or messenger RNA (mRNA) inside intact cells. There is no need to lyse the bacterial cells, isolate the genetic material or amplify target sequences which allows PNA Technology to overcome limitations of other molecular technologies such as PCR.

Whole Cell Analysis
(Molecular Characterization)Molecular characterization
ribosomal RNA
(Species Identification)rRNA
messenger RNA
(Antibiotic Resistance)mRNA