Questions and answers regarding sample shipment you will find here.


How should the samples be prepared ?

Please collect the samples aseptically and use sterile containers. Label the samples with a unique identifier, and send them together with an order form (our form is found here) as fast as possible to our lab.


Which samples can I send ?

You can send nearly everything. We have established several extraction methods for many different sample materials: from environmental over industrial to medical samples. For many complex materials we can adapt these methods quickly. If in doubt, please give us a call.


How should I pack the samples ?

Please send only labeled samples in break-proof containers which are closed tightly and sealed with a tape (e.g. parafilm). In order to avoid problems the vials should be packed with filling material (e.g. bubble wrap) in the package.
For sensitive sample material a cooled transport (on "blue ice") or shipping on dry ice with an express courier service may be required.

For liquid samples you may order sterile sample vials from us.


Do I have to register ?

No, but announcing the sample shipment helps us to process the samples smoothly. How to do that is described here.


May I send a single sample ?

This is no problem. There is no extra charge for a single Universal Molecular Identification.


How long does this analysis take ?

It takes at least 5 workdays to get the screening result of a Universal Molecular Identification. We provide this intermediate result by e-mail.
The identification step requires another 3-5 workdays.


How do I get the report ?

In order to provide the results as soon as possible we send the report as a PDF document by e-mail. If you wish to receive a printed report instead or additionally, then we send it by mail.


Which information is in the report ?

Actually there are two reports: The first one contains the screening result as a picture of a gel. In this gel every lane represents a sample, separated into a band pattern. Each band represents a different DNA sequence and thus normally a different species.
You can select the bands to identify yourself, or we can choose according to your specification (e.g. a maximum number). According to your application sometimes all bands have to be analyzed, sometimes only the dominating bands are necessary. Sometimes only the band which occurs in all samples is of interest, sometimes it is the additional band present only in one sample.
We help you with a proper setup and choice of bands for your application, and we will be happy to assist with the interpretation of the results.


Are only bacteria detected ?

No, this depends on the selected detection system. For every universal detection a target gene is used. For the detection of bacteria this is the 16S rRNA gene (standard), for fungi (yeasts and moulds) it is the 18S rRNA gene. This is why a Universal Molecular Identification is able to detect either bacteria, yeasts/fungi (combination) or only selected groups of bacteria. So the microorganisms to detect have to be specified.


What is the detection limit of the method ?

This depends mainly on the sample material. In liquid samples a sensitivity of 10 to 100 cells per ml is possible, like with any other amplification-based method. Many complex sample materials reduce this limit.

If you have a dominating organism in your sample, which has a higher concentration compared to all other organisms, then the detection of these other organisms may be suppressed. If all organisms present in the sample have comparable concentrations, then up to 100 species may be detected, differentiated and identified in parallel.


What is the difference to other methods of universal molecular-biological detection ?

Methods like DGGE or TGGE are comparable to our system and mainly differ in the separation method.

A different approach is the cloning of universal PCR products with a subsequent sequencing of clones. Here many clones have to be processed in order to get a statistically significant proportion of the species present in a sample. Also there is no direct picture representing the quantitative distribution of species in the sample.

The FISH technique also is culture-independent and allows the universal or specific detection of microorganisms directly in the sample material. Nevertheless there is no amplification step. This limits the application to clear samples with a fairly high cell count.

Methods based on Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS) do sequence every DNA strand present in the sample, which usually is more expensive for most applications.


What does "culture-independent detection" mean ?

Only a small number of bacteria are culturable. And some culture methods require so much time, skill and equipment (e.g. anaerobic bacteria), that this method is not appropriate.
This is why the Universal Molecular Identification of AMODIA is an alternative. The detection requires no previous culturing step, and it displays the state of a microbial community at the time of sample collection. This state may be conserved by a special treatment of the sample, like freezing or air-tight storage etc.


What are the prices for the different analyses ?

Pleas ask for our price list. For larger sample numbers, projects or regular analyses we provide individual quotations.


And if there are further questions ?

Our team of experienced microbiologists is just  a phone call away!