www.microbialanalysis.com/en/quicklinks/frequently-asked-questions.html

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

  • Who are our clients?
    Our clients come from various sectors such as environmental engineering/consultancy, drinking water companies (and affiliated organisations), water treatment companies (and affiliated organisations), research institutes (including universities), production industries (such as food & feed, paper, chemical, oil & gas, mining, etc.), governmental organisations, and even the space industry.
  • For what kind of questions can I contact Microbial Analysis?
    You can contact us in case you want to detect, quantify or identify (specific) micro-organisms or metabolic processes in your system. In addition, we will combine our microbial knowledge and analysis tools to advice you in preventing, stimulating or managing micro-organisms. We actually use a microbiological point of view (“think like a bug”) to improve your process. Some of the questions we are frequently asked include:
    • Which micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, etc.) are present in my system?
      Can micro-organisms pose risks for my production process?
      Can micro-organisms pose health risks to my staff?
    • Are micro-organisms responsible for the problems in my process?
      Are micro-organisms the cause of malodours, corrosion damages, blockages, abnormal observations, etc.?
    • How can I control the micro-organisms in my system?
      How can I prevent the excessive growth of bacteria?
      How can I reduce the activity of MIC microbes?
    • Are the precautions I have taken sufficient to control microbial threats?
      Are the unwanted micro-organisms actually decreasing in numbers?
    • Which micro-organisms play a role in the process I'm interested in?
      Which micro-organisms are responsible for the production of bioplastics in my reactor?
      Which micro-organisms are responsible for the degradation of the toxic compounds present on this location?
    • How can I stimulate these micro-organisms to do their work better?
      Which measures should be taken to improve the anammox process in my bioreactor?
      Can I reduce my turnaround time even more by stimulating the essential micro-organisms in my food production process?

Quantitative Bio-analyses

  • What is Q-PCR?
    Q-PCR stands for quantitative PCR, also known as real time PCR. It is a technique used to quantify in real time preselected unique patterns on the genomic material. With Q-PCR it is possible to quantitatively analyse targets ranging from  a complete domain (e.g. total number of Bacteria), a complete genus (e.g. all  Escherichia spp.) or a singular species (e.g. the number of Escherichia coli) in your sample.
  • What is the difference with culturing techniques (CFU, MPN, etc.)?
    Q-PCR is based on the detection of DNA/RNA from cells. Culturing techniques are based on the growth of micro-organisms. Because many micro-organisms cannot be cultured, molecular detection techniques like Q-PCR are the only way to measure for these micro-organisms.
  • Why DNA analyses?
    Q-PCR analyses on DNA can be performed to detect and quantify microorganisms, but also to detect and quantify which genes the microorganisms in your sample contain. DNA analyses for genes give you insight in the capacity of microorganisms to perform a process.
  • Why RNA analyses?
    RNA levels are related to metabolic activities in cells. Active cells contain more RNA than inactive cells. RNA data give you information about which processes in your microbiological sample are active. The extend of the translation of RNA levels to the final kinetics in your process will depend on the type and regulation of RNA.
  • What is the detection limit and how is this determined?
    The detection limit is the lowest detectable concentration of DNA or RNA in a sample. This level is sample specific and depends  on the sample volume used for extraction and the extraction efficiency.
  • How are analysis results reported?
    Your results will be reported in an analysis certificate. This certificate contains the sample information you provided us with, sample specific detection limits and the analysis results. We can also help you to interpret your analyses results, contact us at microbialanalysis@bioclear.nl for more information.   
  • When can I expect the results?
    When your samples have arrived you receive a confirmation by e-mail. The results will be reported within 10 working days after receiving your sample. Upon request, Microbial Analysis can also deliver the analyses results within 5 days, for which we charge additional costs.
  • How much sample do I need to collect?
    The amount of sample depends on the type of sample. See Biosampling for full instructions.
  • Can you design analyses especially for me?
    Yes, Microbial Analysis develops custom made Bioanalyses for micro-organisms or specific functional traits. We have more than 15 years experience in developing and applying Bioanalyses. Contact us via microbialanalysis@bioclear.nl to discuss the possibilities.
  • What QA/QC procedures are used?
    The use of controls are essential to check the validity of the Q-Bioanalysis. Internal controls are added to your sample at the beginning of the DNA- or RNA-extraction. Positive controls are used to check proper handling and functioning of the performed analyses, negative controls are used to check for contamination. Internal controls are used to determine the detection limit speifically for every sample and to correct for Q-PCR inhibiting components.

Bio-ID

  • How are results reported?
    Quick Bio-ID and Key Bio-ID results are reported in an analysis certificate. This certificate contains brief information of the identified  microorganisms in your sample. Due to the large datasets obtained by BioProphyler analyses these results will be summarized in a database environment which will be sent to the client. We can also help you to interpret your analyses results, contact us at microbialanalysis@bioclear.nl for more information.

  • How much sample do I need to collect?
    The amount of sample depends on the type of sample. See Biosampling for full instructions or contact us for additional information.

Biosampling

  • Do I need to preserve my samples?
    Yes, preservation of biological samples is necessary (for producing reliable analysis results). The sample material we provide you with contains a (non-toxic) preservation solution that keeps the biological content and its metabolic activities unchanged directly after sampling.
  • Do I need to cool my samples (during transport)?
    No, sampling material provided by Bioclear contains a (non-toxic) preservation solution that makes it possible to store samples uncooled for several weeks.
  • Can samples be received in weekends or on holidays?
    No, at the moment samples can only be received during office hours. However, you can easily store your sample without cooling until the next working day.
  • How much sample do I need to collect?
    The amount of sample that needs to be collected depends on the type of sample. Please also check our sampling protocols.
    Liquid samples: 60 ml for 100 ml sample bottles
    Solid samples: > 2 grams
    Surface samples: > 25 cm2
    Gasses: > 1 m3
  • Is it necessary to take samples in duplo?
    No, If you use sampling material provided by Bioclear it is not necessary to take samples in duplo, unless you want to have a duplicate analysis.
  • What is the shelf life of sample material
    Sampling material provided by Bioclear contains a (non-toxic) preservation solution that makes it possible to store samples uncooled for several weeks.