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Microbial genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis – British Columbia

Jun 09, 2014 |

Dr. Jennifer Gardy
Jennifer Gardy
Dr. Jennifer Gardy, with the assistance of two co-investigators in Respiratory Medicine (James Johnston) and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (Patrick Tang), is working on the largest microbial genome sequencing project they’ve ever undertaken! They spent the last 18 months culturing and extracting DNA from approximately 5,000 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the causative agent of TB) bacterial samples. This represents all cases of TB diagnosed in British Columbia in the last 20 years. The first batch of approximately 1000 samples is now ready to be sent out for whole genome sequencing.

This is part of a large study – Molecular Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in British Columbia – funded by the BC Centre for Disease Control. The first study of its kind in North America, Gardy and her researchers are using genomics as a tool to map how TB spreads from person to person around the province, as well as geographic routes of spread (i.e, are genotypes of TB emerging in certain areas and being exported to other parts of the province). With this high-resolution data about how and why TB is spreading in BC, they will be able to design better interventions and deploy them in the right place at the right time.

Source: SPPH Summer activities series