Nanopore sequencing could aid outbreak efforts in remote areas

Nanopore sequencing could aid outbreak efforts in remote areas. | Courtesy of Shutterstock

A team of researchers recently detailed the sequencing capabilities of the nanopore sequencer as a tool for remote areas affected by an outbreak in a study.

The study is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. Researchers state that the nanopore sequencing offers the capability to acquire genomic information in less developed and resource-limited areas of the globe. Researchers note that this is the case in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Sequencing the genome of an infectious agent is a key part to outbreak management. Genomic structure is able to provide information on mutations that the microbe has made and to investigate transmission chains. This information is also able to determine if genetic-dependent countermeasures are valid against a particular strain.

The method that was used incorporated reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (PCR0. The team was able to obtain sequencing information from non-human primate samples that had been inoculated with the Ebola virus. The team was also able to replicate results from their laboratory setting in an environment representing a typical laboratory in Liberia. The study notes that initial reading failures were a result of an issue with PCR samples. Once this was alleviated, eight sequences were completed out of nine attempts.

The study was based off of sampling that had already been identified. Methods for pathogen-independent identification are in development.

Organizations in this story

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806 Bethesda, MD 20892-9806

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