Research Topic

Sequencing and Phylogenetic Analysis as Diagnostic Strategies for Infectious Diseases

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Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), also referred to as high-throughput sequencing, is increasingly used for diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases. NGS approaches present several advantages over classical microbiological approaches, including 1) direct sequencing of unknown disease-associated ...

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), also referred to as high-throughput sequencing, is increasingly used for diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases. NGS approaches present several advantages over classical microbiological approaches, including 1) direct sequencing of unknown disease-associated pathogens; 2) detection of multiple pathogens from primary specimens that may be difficult or impossible to culture; 3) identification of genetic mutations leading to drug resistance, present in very low percentages. Thus, the application of NGS to infectious diseases is revolutionary and has been shown to generate larger databases of genomes and gene sequences than expected.

The advances in genome sequence generation, have improved the capacity to track and understand bacterial and viral transmission through sequence analyses. Phylogenetic analysis of these genomes, with spatial and temporal information, can be used to elucidate the origin and transmission pattern of the associated disease, which is critical for the design of effective public health interventions. These surveillance techniques also allow us to monitor genetic modifications over time, which provides valuable information for functional studies on pathogen adaptation and immune escape, but also vaccine design and drug treatments.

This Research Topic will provide a platform for:
a) Original Research articles – focusing on the elucidation of diagnosis, including molecular evolution, spatial distribution, and transmission of important infectious diseases (mainly viral and bacterial), and results should help improve current pathogen surveillance and related disease control and prevention.
b) Methods – providing advances in the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases.
c) Reviews, Mini-Reviews or Perspectives – highlighting different diagnostic strategies for sequencing and phylogenetic analysis concerning infectious diseases over the past years, as well as the direction of future studies, based on current research gaps.


Keywords: NGS, Phylogenetic Analysis, Evolution, Infectious Diseases, Genetic Data


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