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Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is a technique by which whole chromosomal bacterial DNA fragments embedded in an agarose gel are subjected to alternating electrical fields to generate a DNA fingerprint.  DNA fingerprinting by PFGE can be used to identify related isolates involved in investigations of foodborne/waterborne outbreaks, healthcare-associated illnesses and clusters of community-associated disease.

The Wadsworth Center Bacteriology Laboratory is a participant in PulseNet (The National Molecular Subtyping Network for Foodborne Disease Surveillance) - a network of laboratories that perform PFGE on isolates of foodborne pathogens in order to detect common source outbreaks


PFGEgel showing related strains

Above: Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) DNA fingerprint showing related strains