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Bacterial DNA sequence used to map an infection outbreak
Date:11/13/2012

saving possible harm to patients and potentially saving the hospital money.

"Our study indicates the considerable potential of sequencing for the rapid identification of MRSA outbreaks," says Professor Sharon Peacock, lead author from the University of Cambridge and clinical specialist at the Health Protection Agency. "What we need before this can be introduced into routine care is automated tools that interpret sequence data and provide readily understandable information to healthcare workers. We are currently working on such a system.

"If we have a robust system of this type in operation when the outbreaks occur, we predict that we will be able to stop them after the first few cases, as we will rapidly find clear connections."

In their next step, the team will study all MRSA carriers and infected patients over the next year in Addenbrooke's Hospital and surrounding hospitals and the community to understand transmission events with the aim of improving infection management.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: "This is a dramatic demonstration that medical genomics is no longer a technology of the future - it is a technology of the here and now. By collaborating with NHS doctors, geneticists have shown that sequencing can have extremely important applications in healthcare today, halting an outbreak of a potentially deadly disease."


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Contact: Aileen Sheehy
press.office@sanger.ac.uk
44-012-234-96928
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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