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Oxford nanopore sequencing in clinical microbiology and infection diagnostics

Publication

Date: 23rd January 2021 | Source: Briefings in Bioinformatics

Authors: Dropen Sheka, Nikolay Alabi, Paul M K Gordon.

Extended turnaround times and large economic costs hinder the usage of currently applied screening methods for bacterial pathogen identification (ID) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. This review provides an overview of current detection methods and their usage in a clinical setting. Issues of timeliness and cost could soon be circumvented, however, with the emergence of detection methods involving single molecule sequencing technology.

In the context of bringing diagnostics closer to the point of care, we examine the current state of Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) products and their interaction with third-party software/databases to assess their capabilities for ID and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) prediction. We outline and discuss a potential diagnostic workflow, enumerating (1) rapid sample prep kits, (2) ONT hardware/software and (3) third-party software and databases to improve the cost, accuracy and turnaround times for ID and AMR.

Multiple studies across a range of infection types support that the speed and accuracy of ONT sequencing is now such that established ID and AMR prediction tools can be used on its outputs, and so it can be harnessed for near real time, close to the point-of-care diagnostics in common clinical circumstances.

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