Integrating genome-based informatics to modernize global disease monitoring, information sharing, and response

Frank M. Aarestrup, Eric W. Brown, Chris Detter, Peter Gerner-Smidt, Matthew W. Gilmour, Dag Harmsen, Rene S. Hendriksen, Roger Hewson, David L. Heymann, Karin Johansson, Kashef Ijaz, Paul S. Keim, Marion Koopmans, Annelies Kroneman, Danilo Lo Fo Wong, Ole Lund, Daniel Palm, Pathom Sawanpanyalert, Jeremy Sobel, Jørgen Schlundt

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The rapid advancement of genome technologies holds great promise for improving the quality and speed of clinical and public health laboratory investigations and for decreasing their cost. The latest generation of genome DNA sequencers can provide highly detailed and robust information on disease-causing microbes, and in the near future these technologies will be suitable for routine use in national, regional, and global public health laboratories. With additional improvements in instrumentation, these next- or third-generation sequencers are likely to replace conventional culture-based and molecular typing methods to provide point-of-care clinical diagnosis and other essential information for quicker and better treatment of patients. Provided there is free-sharing of information by all clinical and public health laboratories, these genomic tools could spawn a global system of linked databases of pathogen genomes that would ensure more efficient detection, prevention, and control of endemic, emerging, and other infectious disease outbreaks worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

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