Bird Fecal ID
™ has been shown to detect fecal samples on the following set of birds:
The genus Helicobacter
is a group of gram-negative, microaerophilic bacteria that were initially classified under the Campylobacter
genus prior to 1989. Since then, they have been reclassified into the genus Helicobacter
after 16S rRNA sequencing differentiated them from other Campylobacter
species. This group of bacteria typically have a spiral, curved or fusiform morphology with multiple flagella allowing them to rapidly maneuver in the intestinal mucous lining of their hosts. Helicobacter
species colonize the gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds and are shed in feces. There are approximately 20 strains of Helicobacter
. Certain strains, such as Helicobacter pylori,
are pathogenic to humans causing chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.
The Bird Fecal ID
™ service is designed around the principle that certain DNA sequences contained within strains of the Helicobacter
genus are specific to wild birds. These Helicobacter
sequences can be used as indicators of bird fecal contamination. Several species have been isolated from specific hosts such as H. fennelliae
from humans, H. hepaticus
from mice and H. felis
from cats and dogs.The Bird Fecal ID
™ service targets the bird-associated gene biomarker in Helicobacter pametensis.
One of the advantages of the Bird Fecal ID
™ service is that the entire population of Helicobacter
of the selected portion of the water sample is screened. As such, this method avoids the randomness effect of selecting isolates off a petri dish.
Accuracy of the results is possible because the method uses PCR DNA technology. PCR allows quantities of DNA to be amplified into large number of small copies of DNA sequences. This is accomplished with small pieces of DNA called primers that are complementary and specific to the genomes to be detected.
Through a heating process called thermal cycling, the double stranded DNA is denatured and inserted with complementary primers to create exact copies of the DNA fragment desired. This process is repeated rapidly many times ensuring an exponential progression in the number of copied DNA. If the primers are successful in finding a site on the DNA fragment that is specific to the genome to be studied, then billions of copies of the DNA fragment will be available for detection in real-time.