Specific detection of Bacillus anthracis using a TaqMan® mismatch amplification mutation assay

William R. Easterday, Matthew N. Van Ert, Shaylan Zanecki, Paul S Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are increasingly recognized as important diagnostic markers for the detection and differentiation of Bacillus anthracis. The use of SNP markers for identifying B. anthracis DNA in environmental samples containing genetically similar bacteria requires the ability to amplify and detect DNA with single nucleotide specificity. We designed a TaqMan® mismatch amplification mutation assay (TaqMAMA) around a SNP in the plcR gene of B. anthracis. The assay permits specific, low-level detection (25 fg DNA) of this B. anthracis-specific SNP, even in the presence of environmental DNA extracts containing a 20,000-fold excess of the alternate allele. We anticipate that the ability to selectively amplify and detect low copy number DNAs with single nucleotide specificity will represent a valuable tool in the arena of biodefense and microbial forensics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-735
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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