Soon, DNA detectives to track spread of hospital superbugsJanuary 4th, 2010 - 12:55 pm ICT by ANI
London, Jan 4 (ANI): Just like detectives use DNA to place suspects at crime scenes, scientists are creating a DNA database of pathogens to help them track spread of hospital superbugs.
The project would carry the complete genetic codes of pathogens taken from hundreds of people, so that DNA can be used to track the spread of infection and to identify the source of outbreaks of disease.
The database will help doctors to determine the route by which patients with MRSA and Clostridium difficile have picked up these bacteria, and thus to control infection.
When a patient falls ill with MRSA, the germ’s DNA will be sequenced, and compared with samples in the database, which could help to determine whether the infection was present when the patient was admitted to hospital or whether it was acquired on the ward.
The information will help doctors to decide what must be done to stop the outbreak.
The approach could even allow scientists to establish whether individual nurses or doctors are spreading disease through poor hygiene, by matching DNA from patients’ germs to samples from the skin or clothing of staff.
Large databases of genetic information about germs will also provide powerful insights into their biology, which promise to help the development of diagnosis and treatment.Derrick Crook, a clinical microbiologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said that it could transform infection control in hospitals and the community.
“We want to forensically describe how germs are transmitted, and work out better ways of intervening and interrupting that transmission,” Times Online quoted him as saying.
“This will help us to identify emerging threats, and may give us an understanding of which genetic changes in germs are harmful and which are not. We’ll be using the genomic sequence data as the equivalent of a barcode, which tells us what we’re dealing with and where it might have come from,” he said.
The project is aimed to use the genetic mutations that each of these organisms acquires to construct their family trees. (ANI)
- DNA sequencing tracks details of TB outbreak - Sep 04, 2012
- Antibiotics named as 'greatest medical advance of last 50 years' - Nov 28, 2010
- SMART biochip can speedily detect flu virus - Jun 11, 2012
- Genetic changes blamed for Clostridium difficile infections rise - Sep 28, 2009
- Tracking evolution of deadly fungus which is one of world's major killers - May 04, 2011
- Harvard team crack superbugs' genetic code - May 23, 2012
- Scientists a step closer to treatment of virulent hospital infection - Mar 19, 2011
- Scientists reveal how superbug turns killer - Oct 17, 2011
- Genomics-social network combo can halt disease outbreaks - May 23, 2011
- MRSA danger in gyms may be exaggerated - Mar 04, 2011
- New method detects lung infection in 500-year-old mummy - Jul 26, 2012
- Google GPS, gene sequencing combo tracks typhoid outbreaks - Oct 17, 2011
- Docs 'misuse' antibiotics when treating patients with respiratory infections - Sep 23, 2010
- Haiti's cholera strain came from South Asia: Study - Dec 11, 2010
- A pair of clean hands can save lives (May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day) - May 04, 2011
Tags: clinical microbiologist, clostridium, crime scenes, derrick, dna database, dna detectives, genetic changes, genetic codes, genetic information, genomic sequence data, germ, germs, hospital superbugs, infection control in hospitals, john radcliffe hospital, london jan, mrsa, pathogens, poor hygiene, transmission times