Real-time pathogen surveillance systems using DNA sequencing

Quick, Joshua (2018). Real-time pathogen surveillance systems using DNA sequencing. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Microbiological research has uncovered the basis of fermentation, infectious disease, vaccination and antibiotics. Now, a technological revolution leveraging DNA, the code of life, has allowed us to unravel cellular and evolutionary processes in exquisite detail. Today our need for new innovation is still great. The modern world is a challenging environment: over-population, climate change and highly mobile populations create a high risk of pandemic disease especially from viruses and many bacteria are now resistant to our life saving antibiotic drugs due to overuse. In hospitals, the spread of pathogens can be rapid and life threatening. Whole-genome sequencing has the power to identify the source of infections and determine whether clusters of cases belong to an outbreak. Portable, real-time nanopore sequencing enables sequencing to be performed near the patient, even in resource-limited settings. Integrating with existing datasets allows digital surveillance able to detect outbreaks earlier while they can still be contained. Early demonstrations of the power of whole-genome sequencing for outbreak surveillance have made it an area of intense interest and further development in laboratory methods and infrastructure will make it an important tool that can be deployed in response to future outbreaks.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Microbiology and Infection
Funders: National Institute for Health Research
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QR Microbiology


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