Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New tool advances investigations of disease outbreaks

Date:
April 15, 2014
Source:
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)
Summary:
A new field called genomic epidemiology is taking advantage of the rapidly reduced costs of next-generation DNA sequencing to better inform public health officials faced with ongoing outbreaks. While the authors caution that genomics alone cannot truly replace traditional epidemiology, they show the value and potential of using their sequence data analysis tool as a companion method for public health officials to shed light on outbreaks.

To combat disease outbreaks, public health officials often use painstaking fieldwork to try to stay one step ahead of the infectious bugs, linking patients' symptoms to a source of infection to quickly identify the common culprit in related cases.

Related Articles


Now, a new field called genomic epidemiology is taking advantage of the rapidly reduced costs of next-generation DNA sequencing to better inform public health officials faced with ongoing outbreaks. In the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, authors Didelot et al. developed a versatile computational tool that can rely on genomic data alone or be customized to add weighted information from field epidemiology (such as timing of infectivity, level of infectivity, geographic location, etc.). The research group tested the new tool's reliability against a real-world dataset to reconstruct the transmission of an outbreak of M. tuberculosis.

"We're on the edge of an exciting new era in public health epidemiology, as genomics gives us the ability to reconstruct outbreaks in far more detail and with much greater accuracy than ever before. This paper addresses an important question -- just how much information about an outbreak can we reliably derive from genomic data alone -- and gives public health officials a new tool for their detective kits," according to authors Jennifer Gardy, Caroline Colijn, and Xavier Didelot.

With their tool, they found that they were able to capture several aspects of known epidemiology. For example, their method correctly inferred the most likely source case and several key transmission clusters.

While the authors caution that genomics alone cannot truly replace traditional epidemiology, they show the value and potential of using their sequence data analysis tool as a companion method for public health officials to shed light on outbreaks.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. X. Didelot, J. Gardy, C. Colijn. Bayesian inference of infectious disease transmission from whole genome sequence data. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msu121

Cite This Page:

Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). "New tool advances investigations of disease outbreaks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415181332.htm>.
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). (2014, April 15). New tool advances investigations of disease outbreaks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415181332.htm
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). "New tool advances investigations of disease outbreaks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415181332.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins