Microarrays in virology: basic concepts and applications for virus detection
For a few decades, the introduction and development of molecular methods in microbiology have shaped the detection and characterization of pathogens. Although serological and, more punctually, viral culture methods remain basic tools for viral diagnosis, molecular advances based on qPCR have brought a number of novel advantages, in terms of speed, specificity and costs. On the other hand, microarrays have demonstrated their own advantages by increasing drastically the capabilities of detection and characterization of a large range of viruses in a unique step. Nowadays, several microarray-based platforms exist that can be classified in different families according to the type of matrix (solid or liquid), the size and density of probes, the method used for visualizing hybridization results with the target and finally relative costs. The aims of this review will be to overview (i) basic concepts of the different technologies used and to enlighten differences, advantages and drawbacks of each type of platform and (ii) the applications in virology for the detection and characterization of viral agents.