Over the past decade genomics has revolutionized our understanding of how microorganisms cause disease. However, genomic studies need to be extended to a more diverse array of microorganisms and research tools improved to gain additional insights into pathogenesis, according to a new report released by the American Academy of Microbiology.
Genomic studies have placed a comprehensive understanding of pathogenesis in sight, but much work lies ahead, according to the report, The Genomics of Disease-Causing Organisms: Mapping a Strategy for Discovery and Defense. The report is based on the findings of a colloquium convened by the Academy in Key Largo, Florida, in November 2003. Professionals in the fields of genomics, bacteriology, virology, eukaryotic microbiology, medicine, clinical diagnostics, bioinformatics and forensics participated in discussions on the recent advancements in the field and the outlook for future research.
"Genomics has had a profound and lasting impact on the study of pathogens and disease, to the extent that it is difficult to imagine what the science would be like today in the absence of genomics," says Richard J. Roberts, Chair of the Colloquium Steering Committee. "Today a genome sequence is the first priority when investigating an emerging infectious disease, and vaccines and therapies are often designed straight from the genome."
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