Neill White

Ibis Biosciences, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (8)30.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A pneumococcal serotyping/genotyping system (PSGS) was developed based upon targeted PCR, followed by electrospray ion-ization mass spectrometry and amplicon base composition analysis. Eight multiplex PCRs, 32 targeting serotype-determining capsular biosynthetic loci, and 8 targeting multilocus sequence typing (MLST) loci were employed for each of 229 highly diverse Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates. The most powerful aspect of the PSGS system was the identification of capsular serotypes accounting for the majority of invasive and carried pneumococcal strains. Altogether, 45 different serotypes or serogroups were correctly predicted among the 196 resolvable isolates, with only 2 unexpected negative results. All 33 isolates that represented 23 serotypes not included in the PSGS yielded negative serotyping results. A genotyping database was constructed using the base compositions of 65-to 100-bp sections of MLST alleles compiled within http://www.mlst.net. From this database, one or more MLST sequence types (STs) that comprised a PSGS genotype were identified. The end result of more PSGS genotypes (163) than conventional STs actually tested (155) was primarily due to amplification failures of 1 to 3 targets. In many instances, the PSGS genotype could provide resolution of single-and double-locus variants. This molecular serotyping/genotyping scheme is well suited to rapid characterization of large sets of pneumococcal isolates.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 06/2012; · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are few diagnostic methods that readily distinguish among community-acquired methicillin (meticillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, now frequently transmitted within hospitals. We describe a rapid and high-throughput method for bacterial profiling of staphylococcal isolates. The method couples PCR to electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and is performed on a platform suitable for use in a diagnostic laboratory. This profiling technology produces a high-resolution genetic signature indicative of the presence of specific genetic elements that represent distinctive phenotypic features. The PCR/ESI-MS signature accurately identified genotypic determinants consistent with phenotypic traits in well-characterized reference and clinical isolates of S. aureus. Molecular identification of the antibiotic resistance genes correlated strongly with phenotypic in vitro resistance. The identification of toxin genes correlated with independent PCR analyses for the toxin genes. Finally, isolates were correctly classified into genotypic groups that correlated with genetic clonal complexes, repetitive-element-based PCR patterns, or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types. The high-throughput PCR/ESI-MS assay should improve clinical management of staphylococcal infections.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 09/2009; 47(10):3129-37. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a high-throughput assay using PCR coupled to electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) to determine the genotypes of Staphylococcus aureus isolates. The primer sets used in the PCR/ESI-MS assay were designed to amplify the same genes analyzed in multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The method was used to identify the clonal complex and USA type of each isolate and is suitable for use in a clinical or public-health setting. The method was validated using a panel of diverse isolates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were previously characterized by MLST and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Clinical isolates from two geographically distinct hospitals were characterized, and the clustering results were in agreement with those for repetitive-element PCR and PFGE. The PCR/ESI-MS method enables genotyping of over 180 samples of S. aureus per day in an automated fashion.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 04/2009; 47(6):1733-41. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work we report on a high-throughput mass spectrometry-based technique for the rapid high-resolution identification of Campylobacter jejuni strain types. This method readily distinguishes C. jejuni from C. coli, has a resolving power comparable to that of multilocus sequence typing (MLST), is applicable to mixtures, and is highly automated. The strain typing approach is based on high-performance mass spectrometry, which "weighs" PCR amplicons with enough mass accuracy to unambiguously determine the base composition of each amplicon (i.e., the numbers of A's, G's, C's, and T's). Amplicons are derived from PCR primers which amplify short (<140-bp) regions of the housekeeping genes used by conventional MLST strategies. The results obtained with a challenge panel that comprised 25 strain types of C. jejuni and 25 strain types of C. coli are presented. These samples were parsed and resolved with demonstrated sensitivity down to 10 genomes/PCR from pure isolates.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 04/2008; 46(4):1220-5. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a new approach to the sensitive and specific identification of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa based on broad-range PCR and high-performance mass spectrometry. The Ibis T5000 is based on technology developed for the Department of Defense known as T.I.G.E.R. (Triangulation Identification for the Genetic Evaluation of Risks) for pathogen surveillance. The technology uses mass spectrometry—derived base composition signatures obtained from PCR amplification of broadly conserved regions of the pathogen genomes to identify most organisms present in a sample. The process of sample analysis has been automated using a combination of commercially available and custom instrumentation. A software system known as T-Track manages the sample flow, signal analysis, and data interpretation and provides simplified result reports to the user. No specialized expertise is required to use the instrumentation. In addition to pathogen surveillance, the Ibis T5000 is being applied to reducing health care—associated infections (HAIs), emerging and pandemic disease surveillance, human forensics analysis, and pharmaceutical product and food safety, and will be used eventually in human infectious disease diagnosis. In this review, we describe the automated Ibis T5000 instrument and provide examples of how it is used in HAI control.
    Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation 12/2006; 11(6):341-351. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In traditional approaches, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation is exploited for forensic identity testing by sequencing the two hypervariable regions of the human mtDNA control region. To reduce time and labor, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays are being sought to possibly replace sequencing. However, most SNP assays capture only a portion of the total variation within the desired regions, require a priori knowledge of the position of the SNP in the genome, and are generally not quantitative. Furthermore, with mtDNA, the clustering of SNPs complicates the design of SNP extension primers or hybridization probes. This article describes an automated electrospray ionization mass spectrometry method that can detect a number of clustered SNPs within an amplicon without a priori knowledge of specific SNP positions and can do so quantitatively. With this technique, the base composition of a PCR amplicon, less than 140 nucleotides in length, can be calculated. The difference in base composition between two samples indicates the presence of an SNP. Therefore, no post-PCR analytical construct needs to be developed to assess variation within a fragment. Of the 2754 different mtDNA sequences in the public forensic mtDNA database, nearly 90% could be resolved by the assay. The mass spectrometer is well suited to characterize and quantitate heteroplasmic samples or those containing mixtures. This makes possible the interpretation of mtDNA mixtures (as well as mixtures when assaying other SNPs). This assay can be expanded to assess genetic variation in the coding region of the mtDNA genome and can be automated to facilitate analysis of a large number of samples such as those encountered after a mass disaster.
    Analytical Biochemistry 10/2005; 344(1):53-69. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemic respiratory infections are responsible for extensive morbidity and mortality within both military and civilian populations. We describe a high-throughput method to simultaneously identify and genotype species of bacteria from complex mixtures in respiratory samples. The process uses electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and base composition analysis of PCR amplification products from highly conserved genomic regions to identify and determine the relative quantity of pathogenic bacteria present in the sample. High-resolution genotyping of specific species is achieved by using additional primers targeted to highly variable regions of specific bacterial genomes. This method was used to examine samples taken from military recruits during respiratory disease outbreaks and for follow up surveillance at several military training facilities. Analysis of respiratory samples revealed high concentrations of pathogenic respiratory species, including Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Streptococcus pyogenes. When S. pyogenes was identified in samples from the epidemic site, the identical genotype was found in almost all recruits. This analysis method will provide information fundamental to understanding the polymicrobial nature of explosive epidemics of respiratory disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2005; 102(22):8012-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, we describe a strategy for the detection and characterization of microorganisms associated with a potential biological warfare attack or a natural outbreak of an emerging infectious disease. This approach, termed TIGER (Triangulation Identification for the Genetic Evaluation of Risks), relies on mass spectrometry-derived base composition signatures obtained from PCR amplification of broadly conserved regions of the microbial genome(s) in a sample. The sample can be derived from air filtration devices, clinical samples, or other sources. Core to this approach are “intelligent PCR primers” that target broadly conserved regions of microbial genomes that flank variable regions. This approach requires that high-performance mass measurements be made on PCR products in the 80–140 bp size range in a high-throughput, robust modality. As will be demonstrated, the concept is equally applicable to bacteria and viruses and could be further applied to fungi and protozoa. In addition to describing the fundamental strategy of this approach, several specific examples of TIGER are presented that illustrate the impact this approach could have on the way biological weapons attacks are detected and the way that the etiologies of infectious diseases are determined. The first example illustrates how any bacterial species might be identified, using Bacillus anthracis as the test agent. The second example demonstrates how DNA-genome viruses are identified using five members of Poxviridae family, whose members includes Variola virus, the agent responsible for smallpox. The third example demonstrates how RNA-genome viruses are identified using the Alphaviruses (VEE, WEE, and EEE) as representative examples. These examples illustrate how the TIGER technology can be applied to create a universal identification strategy for all pathogens, including those that infect humans, livestock, and plants.
    International Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 01/2005;