PATHSEEK is a project investigating the genomic sequencing of 8 pathogens, including M. tb, directly from clinical samples.

Researchers in the Department of Infection and Immunity, as part of an EU funded consortium, have successfully developed a system where full genomes of M.tb can be sequenced directly from clinical samples, without the need to culture. This technology is based on oligonucleotide enrichment using RNA baits designed against the M.tb genome, and can be applied to DNA extracted directly from clinical samples.

This means that clinically relevant information such as antimicrobial resistance and epidemiological markers can be determined much more rapidly than the current approach which requires culture. This work will be expanded in a project funded by the BRC (grant number BRC176/III/JB), which will compare the accuracy and turnaround of this new methodology to MGIT, culture sequencing, GeneXpert and phenotypic antimicrobial resistance testing for the identification of antimicrobial resistance.

Samples will be collected prospectively from six hospitals across London and when available, longitudinal samples from individual patients will be prioritised so that there will be an opportunity to study the evolution of M.tb within patients. For further information please contact Judith Breuer at j.breuer@ucl.ac.uk

You can find more information by going to PATHSEEK