Navigation Links
Pacific Biosciences and Harvard scientists decode genome of Haitian cholera pathogen

Menlo Park, Calif. December 9, 2010 Scientists from Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACB) and Harvard Medical School have successfully employed single molecule, real-time (SMRT) DNA sequencing technology to rapidly characterize the pathogen responsible for the recent deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti. Published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the results provide the first whole genome sequence analysis and most detailed genetic profile to date of the Haitian Vibrio cholerae outbreak strain.

The multi-strain sequencing and bioinformatic analysis confirm that the cholera pathogen now present in Haiti is closely related to the "El Tor O1" variant from South Asia. Given that the existence of this strain has never been documented in the Caribbean region or throughout Latin America, the evidence suggests that the Haitian epidemic began as a result of the introduction of a new strain from a distant geographic source. While the sequence analysis confirms a South Asian lineage, it does not identify the specific source of the Haitian strain or suggest how it may have arrived in the country.

In this collaboration, DNA prepared from five V. cholerae strains at Harvard Medical School was received at Pacific Biosciences on Wednesday, November 10, 2010. "Through the truly remarkable and dedicated efforts of Dr. Schadt and his colleagues at PacBio, we had a good understanding of the genome of the Haitian V. cholerae isolates and their likely origin by Friday evening, November 12," said John Mekalanos, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, a senior author on the study. "This understanding has important public health policy implications for preventing cholera outbreaks in the future."

Members of a team led by Stephen Calderwood, M.D., Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Morton N. Swartz M.D. Academy Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) at Harvard Medical School, recently returned from working alongside public health experts in Haiti where they collected samples for the study in cooperation with Haitian collaborators.

"Witnessing the scale of human suffering caused by the rapidly progressing cholera outbreak, our team was compelled to deploy a technology that could immediately provide comprehensive genomic information about this virulent strain and quickly get it into the hands of the global health and research community," said Jason Harris, M.D., Physician, Pediatric Infectious Disease Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "In the initial stages of a major epidemic, real time is the speed we need to be working in order to have the greatest impact on saving lives."

Whole genome sequencing involves decoding the precise order of nucleotide bases that make up an organism's complete set of DNA and provides more comprehensive information than other analysis methods such as DNA fingerprinting or arrays. With advances in technology and decreasing cost, whole genome sequencing is emerging as the gold standard method for identifying and classifying infectious agents. SMRT technology is the latest advance in DNA sequencing, capable of generating long sequence reads to resolve structural variations and complex genomes at ultra-fast speeds by 'eavesdropping' on DNA replicating in real time.

"Now armed with a more complete characterization of this pathogen, the scientific community is empowered with information that can be used to inform public health policy decisions such as the appropriate use of vaccines to quell this epidemic," said Eric Schadt, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences and co-author of the paper. "The ability to quickly and easily perform real-time monitoring of pathogens also opens the door to using this technology as a routine surveillance method, for public health protection in addition to pandemic prevention and response."

To obtain a comprehensive genomic characterization of the origin of the Haitian cholera pathogen, the PacBio/Harvard team sequenced two samples from the current Haiti outbreak, two samples from South Asia (Bangladeshi isolates from 1971 and 2008), and one sample from Latin America (a 1991 Peruvian isolate). The team then compared this high resolution whole genome sequence information to DNA sequence information available in public databases for 23 diverse strains of V. cholerae.


Contact: Nicole Litchfield

Related biology technology :

1. CoreValve Successfully Treats the First Pacific Rim Patients with Its ReValving System for Percutaneous Aortic Valve Replacement : Australia/New Zealand Regulatory-Cleared Evaluation Registry is Expected to Lead to Market Clearance for These Countries
2. Quintiles Expands Base for Growing Asia-Pacific Operations
3. Simcere Pharmaceutical Group to Participate in Morgan Stanley Seventh Annual Asia Pacific Summit 2008
4. PacificGMP and Actinium Pharmaceuticals Announce Agreements for cGMP Antibody Manufacturing and Stability Testing
5. Pacific Northwest National Laboratories Becomes a GeneGo Center of Excellence
6. Queensland Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics (QFAB) Becomes a GeneGo Center of Excellence for the Asia Pacific Region
7. PacificGMP and LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Announce cGMP Manufacturing Collaboration
8. Sundia MediTech in Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific List
9. Copan Announces the Appointment of Bob Cooper as Vice President of Business Development in the Pacific Rim
10. OmniComm Systems Appoints EDC Veteran Dr. Wolfgang Summa to Executive Vice President, Europe & Asia/Pacific
11. Dendreon Corporation CEO Mitchell H. Gold, M.D. Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year(R) 2009 Award Finalist in the Pacific Northwest
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. ... Healthcare Conference in New York on Wednesday, ... Helen Torley , president and CEO, will provide a corporate ... New York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT ... and investor relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services ... that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in ... growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... market research report released by Transparency Market Research, the ... at a CAGR of 17.5% during the period between ... Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, ... non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach a valuation of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, ... 3D cell culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. ... Aregger served on the management team and was promoted to Head of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/29/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that it has been selected ... of only three finalists for a 2015 Tekne ... category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical  technology ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , October 27, 2015 ... Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data ... Eye Tracking Glasses , so that they can ... --> Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):