DNA researchers develop important shortcuts for detecting and identifying known and new pathogens

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles isolated from the patient. Credit: NIAID

Researchers at McMaster University have developed sophisticated new tools that provide early warning of rare unknown viruses in the environment and help identify deadly bacterial pathogens that can cause sepsis. bottom.

The new algorithm is an advanced tool to help develop probes that capture trace amounts of known and unknown pathogens from a variety of situations, including transmission of animal-to-human transmissions such as SARS-CoV-2 and monitor reservoirs. In the environment for potential new pathogens.

To date, most laboratories have bulk sequenced samples. This is a tedious and costly process that usually requires scientists to extract and reconstruct minute pieces of specific DNA. These fragments are difficult to detect and are often contaminated by the same sample or billions of other organisms in the environment. ..

For example, pathogens in blood and saliva clinical or wildlife environment samples are particularly difficult to isolate, as less than one millionth of the sample can be easily constructed, especially if their concentrations are still low in the early stages of infection. .. Detection is of paramount importance to the patient.

Researchers have successfully tested probes across the entire family of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Probes provide shortcuts by specifically and simultaneously targeting, separating, and identifying DNA sequences that are shared between related organisms. Evolutionary history Or an ancestor.

“There are thousands of bacterial pathogens, and being able to determine which one is present in a patient’s blood sample can lead to faster and correct treatment when time is critical,” the study said. Lead author and Department of Biology.

“NS Research Identification is much faster. That means we may be able to save people who could die in other ways, “he says.

Researchers have also demonstrated the effectiveness of probes to capture the very wide range of pathogens associated with sepsis. Sepsis is a rapidly developing, life-threatening condition that occurs when the body overreacts to an infection that usually begins in the lungs. Urinary tract, Skin or gastrointestinal tract.

“Currently, we need a faster, cheaper, and more concise way to detect. Pathogen With a sample of humans and the environment that democratizes hunting, this pipeline does just that, “said Hendrick Poiner, the lead author and director of research at McMaster’s Ancient DNA Center. I am.

This discovery also has the potential for a wider range of applications. Human health Scientific discoveries, including the identification of intestinal parasites in ancient DNA. This may reveal new information about the evolution of catastrophic disease.

The process used to design the probe, a pipeline called HUBdesign or Hierarchical Unique Baits, is documented in the journal. Cell Reports: Method, Published online today.

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For more information:
Probe design for simultaneous targeted capture of various metagenomic targets, Cell Reports: Method, DOI: 10.1016 / j.crmeth.2021.100069

Quote: DNA researchers found known and new pathogens (2021) obtained on September 15, 2021 from https: // Develop important shortcuts to detect and identify (September 15th)

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DNA researchers develop important shortcuts for detecting and identifying known and new pathogens

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