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New study by UCL-led international team critically assesses the potential of genomics in clinical diagnostics of microbial infections

7 September 2018

Hospitals worldwide are facing an increasing incidence of hard-to-treat infections due to the rise of antibiotic resistance.

New study by UCL-led international team critically assesses the potential of genomics in clinical diagnostics of microbial infections The technology is now available to readily decipher the whole genome sequence of microbes. Such data allows for precise identification of the infecting strain and the drugs it is resistant to. Additionally, the genomic information allows for the detection of sources of recurrent infections (e.g., contaminated sinks) and reconstruction of transmission (i.e., who infected whom). As such, sequencing microbial genomes has huge potential to improve treatment of patients. However, some major scientific and logistical challenges need to be solved before genomic data fulfils its potential in clinical microbial diagnostics. In this review we identify the major bottlenecks that need to be resolved for genome sequence data to routinely inform clinical intervention and offer possible solutions.

Read full paper: From Theory to Practice: Translating Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) into the Clinic
Authors: Francois Balloux, Ola Brønstad Brynildsrud, Lucy van Dorp, Liam P. Shaw, Hongbin Chen, Kathryn A. Harris, Hui Wang, and Vegard Eldholm