Genome sequencing helps determine end of outbreak of tuberculosis

Jun 14, 2016 | | Say something

Genome sequencing helps determine end of outbreak of tuberculosis ;

this photomicrograph reveals Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria using acid-fast Ziehl-Neelsen; X. magnified 1,000 spots acid-fast depend on the ability of mycobacteria to retain dye when treated with mineral acid or an acid-alcohol solution as the Ziehl-Neelsen stain, or the Kinyoun carbolfuchsin stains specific methods for M. tuberculosis. Credit: Public Domain

The use of genome sequencing, researchers at the University of British Columbia, along with colleagues at Imperial College London, now have the ability to determine when a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak is over.

Research is the first of its kind to show that genomic analysis can be used to determine valuable compositional knowledge when an outbreak of tuberculosis has that can help health public researchers understand a dynamic and outbreaks guide a public health response in real time. Genomic analysis involves reading the complete genetic instructions of pathogens that cause disease , and use that data to infer that might have infected whom. By searching for mutations that are shared between pathogens taken from different people, researchers can see who pathogens are more closely related transmission potential, suggesting.

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“Declaration of the end of an outbreak of tuberculosis is a difficult thing to do,” said lead author Jennifer Gardy, assistant professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC and a senior scientist at the Center British Columbia for Disease Control. “Because the bacteria that causes TB can lie dormant in the lungs of a person for months or even years before it causes disease, he had no way of knowing whether a case of tuberculosis just diagnosed was a recent infection – suggesting the outbreak is still ongoing – or whether the person is infected for years. ”

The use of mathematical and statistical techniques, researchers evaluated a tuberculosis outbreak that began in May 2008 and were able to determine when each outbreak was infected. This provided public health officials with a way to determine when transmission of the disease had stopped and the outbreak was over. They were able to declare the outbreak over in January 2015, after the data did not indicate disease transmission had occurred since mid 2012.

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“By using a number of techniques in the world of mathematics and statistics, we can reach an approximate time when each infection occurred,” said Gardy. “This information is very useful for Public health officials managing an outbreak. In response to an outbreak requires a lot of efforts and resources, and we need to know when we give up our response.”

“Genomics has been used to control outbreaks of infectious diseases before, but this is the first time I have ever been possible to declare an outbreak of tuberculosis complicated over,” Gardy said. “It really opens up new doors in the world of TB.”

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This study was published in Microbial Genomics .

In 2011, Gardy and colleagues were the first to use the new science of genomics to solve an outbreak of tuberculosis. By reading the complete DNA sequence of the bacteria of tuberculosis each patient in an outbreak, his group showed that it was possible to determine who probably infected in outbreak . This new work extends this earlier research by introducing a new method to determine when these infections occurred.

This article was originally published on medicalxpress, Read the original article

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