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Hum Genomics. 2015 Aug 5;9:19. doi: 10.1186/s40246-015-0037-z.

Whole-genome sequencing targets drug-resistant bacterial infections.

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Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, 119071, Russia.
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA.
The Federal State Unitary Enterprise All-Russia Research Institute of Automatics, Moscow, 127055, Russia.
Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, 119071, Russia.


During the past two decades, the technological progress of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) had changed the fields of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, and, currently, is changing the underlying principles, approaches, and fundamentals of Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Economics, and national productivity. Today's WGS technologies are able to compete with conventional techniques in cost, speed, accuracy, and resolution for day-to-day control of infectious diseases and outbreaks in clinical laboratories and in long-term epidemiological investigations. WGS gives rise to an exciting future direction for personalized Genomic Epidemiology. One of the most vital and growing public health problems is the emerging and re-emerging of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections in the communities and healthcare settings, reinforced by a decline in antimicrobial drug discovery. In recent years, retrospective analysis provided by WGS has had a great impact on the identification and tracking of MDR microorganisms in hospitals and communities. The obtained genomic data are also important for developing novel easy-to-use diagnostic assays for clinics, as well as for antibiotic and therapeutic development at both the personal and population levels. At present, this technology has been successfully applied as an addendum to the real-time diagnostic methods currently used in clinical laboratories. However, the significance of WGS for public health may increase if: (a) unified and user-friendly bioinformatics toolsets for easy data interpretation and management are established, and (b) standards for data validation and verification are developed. Herein, we review the current and future impact of this technology on diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and control of MDR infectious bacteria in clinics and on the global scale.

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