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Title: Comparative bacterial genomics
Author: Loman, Nicholas James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 9695
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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For the most part, diagnostic clinical microbiology still relies on 19th century ideas and techniques, particularly microscopy and laboratory culture. In this thesis I investigate the utility of a new approach, whole-genome sequencing (WGS), to tackle current issues in infectious disease. I present four studies. The first demonstrates the utility of WGS in a hospital outbreak of Acinetobacter baumannii. The second study uses WGS to examine the evolution of drug resistance following antibiotic treatment. I then explore the use of WGS prospectively during an international outbreak of food-borne Escherichia coli infection, which caused over 50 deaths. The final study compares the performance of benchtop sequencers applied to the genome of this outbreak strain and touches on the issue of whether WGS is ready for routine use by clinical and public health laboratories. In conclusion, through this programme of work, I provide ample evidence that whole-genome sequencing of bacterial pathogens has great potential in clinical and public health microbiology. However, a number of technical and logistical challenges have yet to be addressed before such approaches can become routine.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH426 Genetics ; QR180 Immunology ; RA Public aspects of medicine