The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is well known for its work in monitoring, investigating, and controlling infectious diseases in the United States and worldwide. Genetic information from viruses, bacteria, and other infectious organisms has long played a crucial role in these efforts.
Advances in molecular technologies and bioinformatics have made it possible to examine pathogen genomes in much greater detail. Now, falling cost and turnaround time are bringing high-throughput genetic sequencing within reach for use by clinical and public health investigators.
Public health applications of pathogen genomics include:
- Diagnosing infection (Legionella; Mycoplasma pneumoniae)
- Investigating outbreaks (Listeria; Ebola virus)
- Describing transmission patterns (Tuberculosis;Hepatitis C)
- Monitoring antimicrobial resistance (Gonorrhea; Candida auris)
- Developing interventions, including vaccines (Influenza; Polio eradication)
CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) Initiative[PDF 392.40 KB] aims to build critical molecular sequencing and bioinformatics capacities at national and state levels to support public health efforts to control infectious diseases. For additional information, see the A New Landscape for Combatting Infectious Diseases.[PDF 693.38 KB]
Check out the Weekly Advanced Molecular Detection Clips. Topics include methods, evolution & pathogenicity, detection & diagnosis, outbreaks, epidemiology & transmission, antimicrobials, vaccines & host-pathogen interactions. The weekly clips also include news, reviews, commentaries, tools and databases.
Search the CDC Public Health Genomics Knowledge Base on public health and genomic information for infectious diseases and pathogen-host interactions
OPHG blog posts on pathogen genomics:
- Infectious Diseases: Precision Medicine for Public Health, (September 24, 2015)
- What is a “rare disease”? Polio eradication and primary immunodeficiency (November 26, 2014)
- Outsmarting Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens (October 30, 2014)
- Genomes at CDC: Man, mouse, and microbe—it’s a genomic world! (May 23, 2013)
- Now watch this: Genomic epidemiology (September 6, 2012)
- No genome is an island (January 12, 2012)
- Genome vs. genome: E. coli sprouts in Germany (June 30, 2011)