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Distributed sequencing towards real-time outcomes in animal and human health 

Small, portable sequencing devices are now able to capture genomic data in real time without the need for specialised facilities. 

Treatment decisions for both animals and humans alike are most successful when informed by quick, accurate and versatile diagnostic tools. Genomics offers a species-agnostic toolkit to address these challenges in a future-proof way and offers additional insights compared to PCR and/or microscopy based technologies.

Distributed sequencing at the point of need has promising benefits for a range of applications. 

This project tests the application of distributed sequencing at sites of need, developing and implementing pipelines to enable real-time analysis and reporting for decision making on-site. As a result, a more diverse group of people will be empowered to use these techniques and timely information will inform treatment decisions and improve outcomes. 

This project aims to place the technology and the associated bioinformatic and reporting tools directly at the point of need: in the hands of human and animal healthcare professionals. 

Generating genomics data closer to the site of need can have profound impacts on the wellbeing of both humans and animals. This project will focus on two areas to establish genomics capability with a focus on Haora: animal (production and taonga species) and human (infectious diseases in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Outcomes

  • A genomics test for parasite identification. This is a key competency for the health and wellbeing of livestock and taonga species and should offer significant benefits.
  • A metagenomic test that can screen for pathogens and infectious agents as well as determine antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles in preterm infants within hours of birth. This would have profound impacts on the health and long term wellbeing of young lives.

Team

  • Dr Joep de Ligt (ESR) 
  • Dr Donia Macartney-Coxson (ESR) 
  • Dr Anjan Purkayastha (ESR)