DNA Researchers Develop Important Shortcuts to Detect and Identify Known and New Pathogens

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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. low.

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

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

For example, pathogens present in blood and saliva samples in clinical or animal settings are particularly difficult to isolate, since less than a millionth of the sample can be easily constructed, especially if their concentrations are still low at first. stages of infection. .. Detection is of paramount importance to the patient.

Researchers have successfully tested probes on the entire coronavirus family, including SARS-CoV-2. The 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 more correct treatment when time is critical,” the study said. . Principal author and department of biology.

“NS Research Identification is much faster. This means that we may be able to save people who might die in another way, ”he says.

The researchers also demonstrated the effectiveness of the probes in capturing the very wide range of pathogens associated with sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening disease that develops quickly and occurs when the body overreacts to an infection that usually starts in the lungs. Urinary tract, Skin or gastrointestinal tract.

“Right now we need a faster, cheaper and more concise means of detection. Pathogen With a cross section of humans and the environment that democratizes hunting, this pipeline does just that, ”said Hendrick Poiner, senior author and research director 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 course of the 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, Posted 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

Provided by
McMaster University

Quote: DNA researchers found known and new pathogens (2021) obtained on September 15, 2021 from https: //phys.org/news/2021-09-dna-critical-shortcut-emerging-pathogens.html. Develop important shortcuts to detect and identify (September 15)

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DNA Researchers Develop Important Shortcuts to Detect and Identify Known and New Pathogens

DNA Researchers Develop Important Shortcuts to Detect and Identify Known and New Pathogens

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