Pathogen Genomics for Public Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is well known for its work in monitoring, investigating, and controlling infectious diseases in the United States and worldwide. Genetic information from viruses, bacteria, and other infectious organisms has long played a crucial role in these efforts.
Advances in molecular technologies and bioinformatics have made it possible to examine pathogen genomes in much greater detail. Now, falling cost and turnaround time are bringing high-throughput genetic sequencing within reach for use by clinical and public health investigators.
Public health applications of pathogen genomics include:
- Diagnosing infection (Legionella; Plasmodium knowlesi)
- Investigating outbreaks (Listeria; HCAI)
- Describing transmission patterns (Tuberculosis; Dengue)
- Monitoring antimicrobial resistance (HIV; Salmonella)
- Developing interventions, including vaccines (Influenza; Influenza A)
CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) Initiative [PDF 392.40 KB] aims to build critical molecular sequencing and bioinformatics capacities at national and state levels to support public health efforts to control infectious diseases. For additional information, see the A New Landscape for Combatting Infectious Diseases [PDF 693.38 KB].
Check out the Genomics and Infectious Diseases Weekly Update. Topics include methods, evolution & pathogenicity, detection & diagnosis, outbreaks, epidemiology & transmission, antimicrobials, vaccines & host-pathogen interactions. The weekly clips also include news, reviews, commentaries, tools and databases.
OPHG blog posts on pathogen genomics:
What is a “rare disease”? Polio eradication and primary immunodeficiency (November 26, 2014)
Outsmarting Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens (October 30, 2014)
Now watch this: Genomic epidemiology (September 6, 2012)
No genome is an island (January 12, 2012)
Genome vs. genome: E. coli sprouts in Germany (June 30, 2011)