• Pathogenomics is an emerging technology that determines the genetic sequence of an organism. Compared to traditional typing methods, whole genome sequencing (WGS) of bacteria provides a much higher level of detail to determine which cases are likely to have come from the same source, and can also be used to detect genes that affect severity of infection or antibiotic resistance.
  • In NSW, WGS has been used in outbreaks of foodborne and respiratory disease to help guide investigations, but has not been used for routine surveillance. In conjunction with the Centre for Infectious Diseases Microbiology – Public Health (Westmead), Health Protection NSW undertook a pilot project to evaluate the use of routine genomic surveillance for salmonellosis, listeriosis and tuberculosis.
  • In 2017, 1,324 Salmonella Typhimurium, 430 Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 20 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from human infections were sequenced and analysed to help detect clustered (linked) cases. For Salmonella and Listeria, the human isolates were also compared to isolates obtained from food, animals, and the environment to link outbreaks to their source.
  • Genomic analysis of M. tuberculosis was able to provide antibiotic susceptibility results days or weeks earlier than traditional methods, which enabled patients with resistant TB to receive appropriate treatment sooner.​
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Page Updated: Monday 22 October 2018
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW