Pathogen genomics - the future of infectious disease management?

An expert stakeholder meeting to discuss national implementation of pathogen genomics for the improved care and control of infectious diseases, building on the PHG Foundation report and recommendations, held in October, 2015.


  1. DNA sequencing technologies could potentially transform microbiology services for infectious disease control, as suggested by many exciting recent reports on the use of pathogen genomics - and the PHG Foundation flagship Pathogen Genomics Into Practice project has been examining how this could work in England.
  2. The Pathogen Genomics into Practice report (July 2015) set out for the first time in detail exactly how, when and where genome sequencing could be used to improve or replace current approaches to infectious disease treatment, tracking and outbreak control - and the current barriers to effective use in the NHS.
  3. (We're glad you liked it - it did take quite a bit of work to do!)

  4. PHG Foundation Director Dr Hilary Burton welcomed delegates to the Royal College of Physicians, our luxurious venue for the 'next steps' discussion event on 19th October.
  5. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor John Watson then gave an introduction to the meeting, lauding the timely and focused nature of the report and highlighting the crucial role that pathogen genomics could play in current Department of Health priorities for infectious diseases research and practice.
  6. The next guest speaker was Dr Nick Loman (@pathogenomenick - Independent Research Fellow, University of Birmingham) who gave a presentation on his experiences of portable sequencing for real-time pathogen surveillance and their potential for public health and health system application.
  7. Professor Paul Kellam (@paul_pktwt - Team Leader, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute / Professor of Viral Pathogenesis, University College London) provided some striking examples on the real-time utility of virus genomic data, including experience from analysis of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa:
  8. Professor Kellam also emphasised the importance of sharing pathogen genomic data:
  9. Professor Sharon Peacock CBE (@SharonJPeacock - Director, Bloomsbury Research Institute) spoke on on progress towards translating microbial DNA sequencing into diagnostic and public health microbiology application.