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July 1, 2012

A hybrid approach for the automated finishing of bacterial genomes.

Advances in DNA sequencing technology have improved our ability to characterize most genomic diversity. However, accurate resolution of large structural events is challenging because of the short read lengths of second-generation technologies. Third-generation sequencing technologies, which can yield longer multikilobase reads, have the potential to address limitations associated with genome assembly. Here we combine sequencing data from second- and third-generation DNA sequencing technologies to assemble the two-chromosome genome of a recent Haitian cholera outbreak strain into two nearly finished contigs at >99.9% accuracy. Complex regions with clinically relevant structure were completely resolved. In separate control assemblies on experimental and simulated…

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June 16, 2012

Comparative genomics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O145:H28 strains associated with the 2007 Belgium and 2010 US outbreaks.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an emerging pathogen. Recently there has been a global in the number of outbreaks caused by non-O157 STECs, typically involving six serogroups O26, O45, 0103, 0111, and 0145. STEC O145:H28 has been associated with severe human disease including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), and is demonstrated by the 2007 Belgian ice-cream-associated outbreak and 2010 US lettuce-associated outbreak, with over 10% of patients developing HUS in each. The goal of this work was to do comparative genomics of strains, clinical and environmental, to investigate genome diversity and virulence evolution of this important foodborne pathogen.

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February 21, 2012

Genomic epidemiology of the Escherichia coli O104:H4 outbreaks in Europe, 2011.

The degree to which molecular epidemiology reveals information about the sources and transmission patterns of an outbreak depends on the resolution of the technology used and the samples studied. Isolates of Escherichia coli O104:H4 from the outbreak centered in Germany in May-July 2011, and the much smaller outbreak in southwest France in June 2011, were indistinguishable by standard tests. We report a molecular epidemiological analysis using multiplatform whole-genome sequencing and analysis of multiple isolates from the German and French outbreaks. Isolates from the German outbreak showed remarkably little diversity, with only two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in isolates from…

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February 15, 2012

AGBT Virtual Poster: Genome variation in chronic viral infection – SMRT Sequencing for HCV

Ellen Paxinos, a scientist at PacBio, shares her AGBT poster on work done in collaboration with reference lab Monogram Biosciences using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing to detect minor species and variants in HCV. Using two genotypes mixed together, the team was able to detect variants down to 1% and to identify both viral haplotypes from the data. Paxinos says the study is a model for looking at genomic variation in chronic viral infection.

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February 15, 2012

AGBT Virtual Poster: Single-molecule HIV-1 full genome sequence from linked transmission pairs

PacBio scientist Ellen Paxinos discusses a study presented at AGBT that gnerated single-molecule full genome sequencing of HIV 1 from two pairs of linked transmission from a Zambian cohort. Sequencing was done on full-length amplicons from the virus, and clustering accurately placed the virus from each pair together, distinguishing between the two pairs. Paxinos notes that 50 MB of sequence data was generated in less than four hours.

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September 1, 2011

Real-time sequencing.

This month’s Genome Watch describes the impact of next-generation sequencing on the ‘real-time’ analysis of pathogen genomes during outbreaks.

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August 25, 2011

Origins of the E. coli strain causing an outbreak of hemolytic-uremic syndrome in Germany.

A large outbreak of diarrhea and the hemolytic-uremic syndrome caused by an unusual serotype of Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (O104:H4) began in Germany in May 2011. As of July 22, a large number of cases of diarrhea caused by Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli have been reported--3167 without the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (16 deaths) and 908 with the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (34 deaths)--indicating that this strain is notably more virulent than most of the Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli strains. Preliminary genetic characterization of the outbreak strain suggested that, unlike most of these strains, it should be classified within the enteroaggregative pathotype of E. coli.We used third-generation,…

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January 6, 2011

The origin of the Haitian cholera outbreak strain.

Although cholera has been present in Latin America since 1991, it had not been epidemic in Haiti for at least 100 years. Recently, however, there has been a severe outbreak of cholera in Haiti.We used third-generation single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing to determine the genome sequences of 2 clinical Vibrio cholerae isolates from the current outbreak in Haiti, 1 strain that caused cholera in Latin America in 1991, and 2 strains isolated in South Asia in 2002 and 2008. Using primary sequence data, we compared the genomes of these 5 strains and a set of previously obtained partial genomic sequences of…

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November 3, 2010

Movie: The new biology part III – infectious disease

Part III of The New Biology documentary. This documentary film features the wave of cutting-edge technologies that now provide the opportunity to create predictive models of living systems, and gain wisdom about the fundamental nature of life itself. The potential impact for humanity is immense: from fighting complex diseases such as cancer, enabling proactive surveillance of virulent pathogens, and increasing food crop production.

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November 3, 2010

Movie: The new biology

This documentary film features the wave of cutting-edge technologies that now provide the opportunity to create predictive models of living systems, and gain wisdom about the fundamental nature of life itself. The potential impact for humanity is immense: from fighting complex diseases such as cancer, enabling proactive surveillance of virulent pathogens, and increasing food crop production.

Read More »

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