Thursday, 16 April 2015

USA - Whole-Genome Sequencing - Consequences for Cover-Ups

On Monday we were writing about the extraordinary story of finding and identifying the body of King Richard lll, the repercussion of modern testing techniques, and also praising the Italians on similar work on Porcine Circovirus.

We developed the implications for the covered-up epidemic of Circovirus in pigs (PCV2) in England before 2000, and, in turn, its significance to the CSF and FMD epidemics that followed and also to the superbug crisis currently plaguing the world.

Now the USA leaps into the picture, in their own way, developing similar implications in  a paper published yesterday by the American Society for Microbiology.

Leaving aside the potential for bio-terrorism, bio-corruption, deception and incompetence can also be traced to source using exactly the same tools - and are being so deployed.

The days of hiding up animal disease epidemics dangerous to humans are not only over, but past sources will be revealed, and culprits exposed.

The net is closing about some very uneasy consciences.

Extract from the abstract and access to the full paper here.

Whole-Genome Sequencing in Outbreak Analysis

Published 15 April 2015

...Utilization of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in outbreak analysis
facilitates the rapid and accurate identification of virulence factors
of the pathogen and can be used to identify the path of disease
transmission within a population and provide information on the
probable source. Molecular tools such as WGS are being refined and
advanced at a rapid pace to provide robust and higher-resolution
methods for identifying, comparing, and classifying pathogenic
organisms. If these methods of pathogen characterization are properly
applied, they will enable an improved public health response whether a
disease outbreak was initiated by natural events or by accidental or
deliberate human activity. The current application of next-generation
sequencing (NGS) technology to microbial WGS and microbial forensics
is reviewed...

  • Citation Gilchrist CA, Turner SD, Riley MF, Petri WA, Jr, Hewlett EL. 15 April 2015. Whole-genome sequencing in outbreak analysis. Clin Microbiol Rev doi:10.1128/CMR.00075-13.