Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)

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Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to Laboratory no. 594 (ISO/IEC 17025)

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Reference Details


Multi-faceted approach to the molecular typing of Bacillus anthracis strains.

MLVA Test: Use of PCR and subsequent fragment size analysis of 15 loci to determine strain relatedness.

SNP Test: Molecular typing of Bacillus anthracis strains to determine genetic variations between members of a species.

Test Category:
Molecular Differentiation
Bacillus anthracis
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Anthrax

Pure bacterial culture, whole blood – minimum 0.5 mL, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) – minimum 0.5 mL, biopsy tissue, powder Pure bacterial culture – plate or swab; Whole blood – EDTA tube; Tissue or CSF – submit in a sterile collection tube; powder – submit in a sterile 2 mL o-ring microcentrifuge tube

Collection Method:

Pure bacterial culture – plate or swab.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store bacterial cultures refrigerated until shipped for testing.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.


Patient Criteria:

Confirmed Bacillus anthracis infection. 

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Bioforensics Assay Development and Diagnostics requisition including sender name, address and telephone number. Patient name or identifier (referring lab #), date of birth, suspected exposure, test(s) requested, clinical history. Type of specimen and date collected. If possible, include the antibiotics administered and travel history.



Methods and Interpretation of Results:

MLVA Test: The MLVA pattern will be determined through PCR and sizing of resulting fragments through capillary electrophoresis.  Any matches with previous isolates in the existing databank will be communicated to the client.

SNP Test:  The SNP pattern will be determined through PCR, looking for single base pair mutations at a specific locus which usually consists of two alleles. 

Turnaround Time:

14 calendar days for a final result.

Phone: (204) 784-5928 or 1-877-212-6108
Fax: (204) 789-5009
  1. Keim, P, 2008 Real-Time PCR, plcR and Canonical SNP Genotyping of Bacillus anthracis. V04.29.08
  2. M.N. Van Ert, WR Easterday, et al. 2007. Global Genetic Population Structure of Bacillus anthracis. PLoS ONE. 2(5): e461.
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