Fluorescent in situ hybridization - bacterial detection and identification

Reetta Satokari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with ribosomal RNA (rRNA) targeted fluorescent oligonucleotide probes is a culture-independent technique for the detection and identification of bacteria. The cells remain morphologically intact allowing the visualization and enumeration of cells. Briefly, bacterial cells are first fixed and permeabilized if necessary, hybridized with specific probes under stringent conditions, and detected either by epifluorescent microscope or by flow cytometry (FCM). The technique is suitable for species-specific detection of pathogens and for the analysis of complex microbial populations. Multiplexed detection can be achieved by selecting unique fluorochromes for different specific probes. Fluorescent in situ hybridization provides information about the presence, number, morphology, and spatial distribution of bacteria. It can be performed in a few hours and therefore holds great promise for medical microbiology. This review summarizes methodological aspects and diagnostic applications of FISH.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics
EditorsJürgen Fuchs, Maurizio Podda
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2004
MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material


  • FISH
  • fluorescent in situ hybridization
  • Detection
  • Identification
  • 16S rRNA
  • Probes


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