Outbreak Breakthrough: Using Whole-Genome Sequencing to Control Hospital Infection

Carrie Arnold is a freelance science writer living in Virginia. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Discover, New Scientist, Smithsonian, and more. Background image: Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: doi:10.5923/s.microbiology.201401.02 About This Article open Citation: Arnold C. 2015. Outbreak breakthrough: using whole-genome sequencing to control hospital infection. Environ Health Perspect 123:A281–A286; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.123-A281 Published: 1 November 2015 PDF Version (2.7 MB) The level of detail provided by whole-genome sequencing could give hospitals the tools they need to stop outbreaks before they start. Background: © hxdbzxy/Shutterstock; E. coli O157:H7 genome map reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: doi:10.5923/s.microbiology.201401.02 The British soldier on the trauma and burns ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham brought home more than his injuries when he was evacuated from Afghanistan in July 2011. Like many wounded veterans,1 he also carried an opportunistic pathogen called Acinetobacter baumannii that was resistant to numerous classes of antimicrobials. If this specific strain of bacteria spread to others in the hospital, the doctors there would have few, if any, options for treating their patients. Keeping the bacterium contained through vigorous infection control procedures seemed the only hope. After a week, another patient developed symptoms of infection w...
Source: EHP Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Featured Focus News November 2015 Source Type: research

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