Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pathoscope: new method to rapidly identify pathogens

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and George Washington University (GWU) have developed a method to rapidly identify pathogenic species and strains causing illnesses, such as pneumonia, that could help lead to earlier detection of disease outbreaks. The method has been termed the 'Pathoscope'.

This has been made possible through sequencing technologies that have advanced the collection of genomic data for bioforensics, biosurveillance and for use in clinical settings.

The pathoscope sequencing method is designed allow for rapid screening of thousands of infectious pathogens simultaneously, while being sensitive enough to monitor disease outbreaks caused by specific pathogenic strains.

The findings are featured online in the journal Genome Research. The reference is:

Owen E. Francis, Matthew Bendall, Solaiappan Manimaran, Changjin Hong, Nathan L. Clement, Eduardo Castro-Nallar, Quinn Snell, G. Bruce Schaalje, Mark J. Clement, Keith A. Crandall, and W. Evan Johnson. Pathoscope: Species identification and strain attribution with unassembled sequencing data. Genome Research, 2013; DOI: 10.1101/gr.150151.112

Posted by Tim Sandle