Expanding the analytical capacity of Nanopore sequencing for infectious disease surveillance and diagnostics in a One Health framework
The alarming increase in the scale at which infectious diseases spread and devastate global socioeconomics necessitates timely characterization of the disease-causing agent to devise effective intervention strategies to stop the spread of disease at the source of introduction. It is known that domestic and wild animals play significant roles in the transmission of pathogens to humans via direct contact or the ingestion of contaminated foods. Hence, the proposed project will partner with an animal health diagnostic lab, Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS), to develop laboratory and computational solutions to expedite decision making in clinical and surveillance settings. The tools and protocols will replace laborious conventional workflows with long turnaround times and streamline the process from pathogen sequencing data generation to result interpretation. The generated genetic information of the pathogens from the project will subsequently be used to identify genetic changes associated with increased livestock mortality rates and disease prevalence. The collective work will provide PDS with the analytical infrastructure to offer accredited rapid sequencing services for Canadian researchers and agriculture whom will benefit from the assurance of food safety and livestock productivity.