Global Consortium of Scientists Develop Affordable Sequencing Method for Pathogen Analysis to Help Tackle Global Epidemics
A global consortium of scientists led by Earlham Institute and the
University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom marked a significant
milestone by developing cheap and accessible methods for sequencing
large collections of bacterial pathogens that low- and middle-income
countries (LMICs) can use at a cost of less than US$10 per genome.
During the coronaviruspandemic, genomic surveillance has been in the
spotlight and the ability of countries to contribute through low-cost
and rapid whole genome sequencing (WGS) has become increasingly
important. The methods developed by the consortium can be applied to
large collections of pathogens and will strengthen global research
collaborations to tackle future pandemics.
Focusing on the pathogen/Salmonella enterica/, this large-scale genomic
sequencing initiative was led by the worldwide 10,000 Salmonella genomes
research consortium (10KSG) with scientists from 16 countries. 10KSG
aims to make genomic data more accessible to LMICs and the project has
sequenced and analyzed 10,000 Salmonella genomes from Africa and Latin
America. The researcher's innovative WGS approach aimed to streamline
the large-scale collection and genome sequencing of bacterial isolates
and collected more than 10,400 clinical and environmental bacterial
isolates from LMICs in under a year.
The sample logistics pipeline, developed by the University of Liverpool,
was optimized by shipping the heat-inactivated bacterial isolates as
â??thermolysates' in ambient conditions from different countries to the
UK. The isolates were sequenced at the Earlham Institute using the
unique LITE protocol - a low-cost, low input automated method for rapid
genome sequencing. In total, the gene library construction and DNA
sequencing bioinformatic analysis were done with a total reagent cost of
less than US$10 (around Â?7.50GBP) per genome.
Affordable genome sequencing for pathogen analysis to help tackle global