Next-Generation Sequencing Technologies and their Application to the Study and Control of Bacterial Infections.

BACKGROUND:

With the decreasing cost and efficiency of next generation sequencing, the technology is rapidly introduced into clinical and public health laboratory practice.

AIMS:

In this review, the historical background and principles of first, second and third generation sequencing are described as are the characteristics of the most commonly used sequencing instruments.

SOURCES:

Peer reviewed literature, white papers and meeting reports.

CONTENT & IMPLICATIONS:

Next generation sequencing is a technology that potentially could replace many traditional microbiological workflows, providing clinicians and public health specialists with more actionable information than hitherto achievable. Examples of the clinical and public health uses of the technology are provided. The challenge of comparability of different sequencing platforms is discussed. Finally, the future directions of the technology integrating it with laboratory management and public health surveillance systems, and moving it towards performing sequencing directly from the clinical specimen (metagenomics) could lead to yet another fundamental transformation of clinical diagnostics and public health surveillance.

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