Genome sequencing has become a powerful tool for studying emerging infectious diseases; however, genome sequencing directly from clinical samples without isolation remains challenging for viruses such as Zika, where metagenomic sequencing methods may generate insufficient numbers of viral reads.
A revolution is occurring in genomic epidemiology. Recently, real-time portable genome sequencing using the Oxford Nanopore MinION device was successfully used to characterize the genetic diversity of the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea.
The Ebola virus disease epidemic in West Africa is the largest on record, responsible for over 28,599 cases and more than 11,299 deaths. Genome sequencing in viral outbreaks is desirable to characterise the infectious agent and determine its evolutionary rate.
Determining the full-length genome sequences of viruses during disease outbreaks such as the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which is of unprecedented scale with about 24,000 cases and 10,000 deaths as of March 2015, can provide important information about virus evolution, and ensure