Apr 4, 2020

Genomic Epidemiology with Mixed Samples

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
T. MäklinA. Honkela


Genomic epidemiology is an established tool for investigation of outbreaks of infectious diseases and wider public health applications. It traces transmission of pathogens based on whole-genome sequencing of colony picks from culture plates enriching the target organism(s). In this article, we introduce the mGEMS pipeline for performing genomic epidemiology directly with plate sweeps representing mixed samples of the target pathogen in a culture plate, skipping the colony pick step entirely. By requiring only a single culturing and library preparation step per analyzed sample, we address several key issues in the current approach relating to its cost, practical application and sensitivity. Our pipeline significantly improves upon the state-of-the-art in analysing mixed short-read sequencing data from bacteria, reaching accuracy levels in downstream analyses closely resembling colony pick sequencing data that allow reliable SNP calling and subsequent phylogenetic analyses. The fundamental novel parts enabling these analyses are the mGEMS read binner for probabilistic assignments of sequencing reads and the high-throughput exact pseudoaligner Themisto. In conjunction with recent advances in probabilistic modelling of mixed bacter...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

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Regulation of Biological Process
DNA Footprinting
Molecular Profiling
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Gene Expression

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