A microarray method was developed for the detection of 40 bacterial species reported in the literature to be predominant in the human gastrointestinal tract. The 40 species include seven species each of Bacteroides and Clostridium, six species of Ruminococcus, five species of Bifidobacterium, four species of Eubacterium, two species each of Fusobacterium, Lactobacillus and Enterococcus, and single species each of Collinsella, Eggerthella, Escherichia, Faecalibacterium and Finegoldia. Three 40-mer oligos specific for each bacterial species were designed based on comparison of the 16S rDNA sequences available in the GenBank database, and were used to make the DNA-array on epoxy slides. Using two universal primers, the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria present in fecal samples were amplified and labeled with Cyanine5-dCTP by PCR, and then hybridized to the DNA-array. After resolving some difficulties caused by sequence conflicts in GenBank and inaccurate reference strains, all 40 bacterial reference species gave positive results. The microarray method was used to screen fecal samples obtained from 11 healthy human volunteers for the presence of these intestinal bacteria. The results indicated that 25-37 of the 40 species could be detected in each fecal sample and that 33 of the species were found in a majority of the samples.
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