Diagnosing infection and antibiotic resistance using 3D-genome based genome assemblies
Aviva Aiden, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: More than half of the 11 million children who will die this year will die of infections; we need to be able to quickly identify infectious agents and what will treat them.
GAP: The current gold standard for diagnosis of infection and antibiotic susceptibility were developed in the 1950s - they are robust but have limitations. We have developed a method based on 3D genome sequencing whereby we can assemble the genome of an organism from scratch, affordably and quickly.
HYPOTHESIS: I hypothesize that I can use 3D based assembly to diagnose infections and determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of the pathogens quickly and affordably.
METHODS: I will develop our experimental methods to reliably identify infectious agents, specifically bacteria and fungus, in mixed samples. I will develop software tools to allow for multi-species genome assembly in an automated fashion. I will perform a clinical proof of principle test where we will complete our protocol to sequence the genomes (human and pathogen) in a clinical sample.
IMPACT: I anticipate that this new method will assist in rapid diagnosis of infectious in children, allowing for better and quicker targeted therapy.