U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Date of this Version


Document Type



Current Opinion in Microbiology 2006, 9:312–319; DOI 10.1016/j.mib.2006.04.006


DNA microarray-based gene transcript-profiling of the responses of primates to infection has begun to yield new insights into host–pathogen interactions; this approach, however, remains plagued by challenges and complexities that have yet to be adequately addressed. The rapidly changing nature over time of acute infectious diseases in a host, and the genetic diversity of microbial pathogens present unique problems for the design and interpretation of functional genomic studies in this field. In addition, there are the more common problems related to heterogeneity within clinical samples, the complex, non-standardized confounding variables associated with human subjects and the complexities posed by the analysis and validation of highly parallel data. Whereas various approaches have been developed to address each of these issues, there are significant limitations that remain to be overcome. The resolution of these problems should lead to a better understanding of the dialogue between the host and pathogen.