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Real-time Genome Sequencing Helpful In Controlling Hospital Outbreak

Update Date: Nov 20, 2014 01:08 PM EST

Genome sequencing in real time may help control a hospital outbreak, suggests a new study. 

The study extends its support for the use of the technique as a rapid and cost effective way to tracking and controlling the spread of drug-resistant hospital pathogens.

Conventional methods are often applied retrospectively and yield limited information about a pathogen's DNA, making it difficult to compare whether patients are carrying the same bacteria and track transmission of outbreaks, the press release added. 

Researchers believe, whole genome sequencing which sequences an organism's entire DNA, may be a promising new addition to the toolkit for controlling HAIs. 

"We have demonstrated how whole genome sequencing can be applied in a clinically helpful timeframe to track and control the spread of drug-resistant hospital pathogens. In this case, it helped understand and control what was probably longest running A. baumannii outbreak ever seen in this country," said lead author of the study, Mark Pallen from the University of Warwick, in the press release.

The study was published in the journal Genome

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