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The Need for High-Quality Whole-Genome Sequence Databases in Microbial Forensics

Sjodin, Andreas; Broman, Tina; Melefors, Ojar; Andersson, Gunnar; Rasmusson, Birgitta LU ; Knutsson, Rickard and Forsman, Mats (2013) In Biosecurity and Bioterrorism 11. p.78-86
Abstract
Microbial forensics is an important part of a strengthened capability to respond to biocrime and bioterrorism incidents to aid in the complex task of distinguishing between natural outbreaks and deliberate acts. The goal of a microbial forensic investigation is to identify and criminally prosecute those responsible for a biological attack, and it involves a detailed analysis of the weapon-that is, the pathogen. The recent development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has greatly increased the resolution that can be achieved in microbial forensic analyses. It is now possible to identify, quickly and in an unbiased manner, previously undetectable genome differences between closely related isolates. This development is... (More)
Microbial forensics is an important part of a strengthened capability to respond to biocrime and bioterrorism incidents to aid in the complex task of distinguishing between natural outbreaks and deliberate acts. The goal of a microbial forensic investigation is to identify and criminally prosecute those responsible for a biological attack, and it involves a detailed analysis of the weapon-that is, the pathogen. The recent development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has greatly increased the resolution that can be achieved in microbial forensic analyses. It is now possible to identify, quickly and in an unbiased manner, previously undetectable genome differences between closely related isolates. This development is particularly relevant for the most deadly bacterial diseases that are caused by bacterial lineages with extremely low levels of genetic diversity. Whole-genome analysis of pathogens is envisaged to be increasingly essential for this purpose. In a microbial forensic context, whole-genome sequence analysis is the ultimate method for strain comparisons as it is informative during identification, characterization, and attribution-all 3 major stages of the investigation-and at all levels of microbial strain identity resolution (ie, it resolves the full spectrum from family to isolate). Given these capabilities, one bottleneck in microbial forensics investigations is the availability of high-quality reference databases of bacterial whole-genome sequences. To be of high quality, databases need to be curated and accurate in terms of sequences, metadata, and genetic diversity coverage. The development of whole-genome sequence databases will be instrumental in successfully tracing pathogens in the future. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism
volume
11
pages
78 - 86
publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000336524100010
  • scopus:84883224392
ISSN
1557-850X
DOI
10.1089/bsp.2013.0007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6f5c4457-6160-4c0e-b2b8-75535e3bac31 (old id 4559719)
date added to LUP
2014-07-18 08:49:23
date last changed
2019-04-21 04:12:13
@article{6f5c4457-6160-4c0e-b2b8-75535e3bac31,
  abstract     = {Microbial forensics is an important part of a strengthened capability to respond to biocrime and bioterrorism incidents to aid in the complex task of distinguishing between natural outbreaks and deliberate acts. The goal of a microbial forensic investigation is to identify and criminally prosecute those responsible for a biological attack, and it involves a detailed analysis of the weapon-that is, the pathogen. The recent development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has greatly increased the resolution that can be achieved in microbial forensic analyses. It is now possible to identify, quickly and in an unbiased manner, previously undetectable genome differences between closely related isolates. This development is particularly relevant for the most deadly bacterial diseases that are caused by bacterial lineages with extremely low levels of genetic diversity. Whole-genome analysis of pathogens is envisaged to be increasingly essential for this purpose. In a microbial forensic context, whole-genome sequence analysis is the ultimate method for strain comparisons as it is informative during identification, characterization, and attribution-all 3 major stages of the investigation-and at all levels of microbial strain identity resolution (ie, it resolves the full spectrum from family to isolate). Given these capabilities, one bottleneck in microbial forensics investigations is the availability of high-quality reference databases of bacterial whole-genome sequences. To be of high quality, databases need to be curated and accurate in terms of sequences, metadata, and genetic diversity coverage. The development of whole-genome sequence databases will be instrumental in successfully tracing pathogens in the future.},
  author       = {Sjodin, Andreas and Broman, Tina and Melefors, Ojar and Andersson, Gunnar and Rasmusson, Birgitta and Knutsson, Rickard and Forsman, Mats},
  issn         = {1557-850X},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {78--86},
  publisher    = {Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.},
  series       = {Biosecurity and Bioterrorism},
  title        = {The Need for High-Quality Whole-Genome Sequence Databases in Microbial Forensics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bsp.2013.0007},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2013},
}