Bacteria DNA testing

A recent outbreak of MRSA was managed using DNA sequencing. The outbreak at a Cambridge hospital started with 12 babies being affected. After treatments and deep cleaning it was thought to be resolved but then came back with another infection. They then turned to staff and found a colleague carrying the MRSA.

They could tell it was all part of the same incident by squencing the bacterias genetic code. This was possible due to the collapse in the price of gene sequencing.

How long before this technology will be applied to all sorts of infections – eColi would be an obvious place to start making a library of bacteria sequencing so that total infectious disease outbreaks can be resolved?

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James Barber

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