Vital Bacteria has been set up to provide reagents for the molecular bacterial load assays to scientists so that they can use this technique in their research.
What is the MBLA?
MBLA stands for molecular bacterial load assay. It aims to overcome a basic disadvantage of bacterial DNA based molecular diagnostics – that the assay will detect live AND dead bacteria. This happens because DNA survives in the body after the bacteria is dead, which means it is impossible to monitor the response to treatment. Methods to detect only living bacteria have been developed based on messenger RNA, but these can be difficult to use as mRNA is very labile requiring careful collection rapid transport to the laboratory and storage. Also, each bacterial cell only contains a very small amount of mRNA. To overcome these disadvantages, we have developed an assay based on ribosomal RNA, the structural RNA that makes up the ribosome. This is a better approach because it is present in multiple copies in the LIVING cell providing added sensitivity to the assay. As bacteria are killed by antibiotic, the concentration of rRNA falls allowing the clinician to monitor the response treatment.