Standardization and quantification of nucleic acid detection is a difficult task as there are no reliable standards for low nucleic acid copy numbers. Detection methods such as PCR and NASBA are prone to inhibition caused by many substances commonly found in plant and animal tissues, food matrices and extraction solutions. When co-purified with DNA or RNA, inhibitors reduce amplification efficiency, causing an underestimation of the quantity of target nucleic acid or even false-negative results.
BTF’s BioBall® products are manufactured by means of physical detection, counting and sorting of microorganisms. The physiological state of the microorganisms ensures that each microorganism retains a single copy of the genomic DNA. Each BioBall® thus contains a highly precise number of genome copies. For the first time, researchers are able to include a precise low count of DNA copies in their assays, providing them with a true value for the estimation of detection limits and the comparison of different detection methods. For the detection of microorganisms in different matrices the use of our BTF’s BioBall® range furthermore provides a control for the DNA extraction efficiencies, since the amount of DNA extractable with a particular method can vary significantly whether the target organisms is a gram negative or a spore or yeast cell.