ECDC technical consultation on harnessing genomics for epidemiological surveillance

Surveillance report
Time period covered: 1 - 2 october 2013
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Citation Link

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. ECDC technical consultation on harnessing genomics for epidemiological surveillance – Meeting report, Paris, 1–2 October 2013. Stockholm: ECDC; 2014.

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The aim of the technical consultation was to review ECDC’s molecular surveillance strategy with leading scientists in molecular epidemiology and public health microbiology.

Executive summary

The consultation also evaluated opportunities for the application of novel surveillance study designs and methodologies, the sustainability of current typing methods, and the transition to genome-wide analysis based on next-generation sequencing (NGS).

The meeting brought together 30 experts who confirmed that NGS-based methods are in the process of significantly changing public health microbiology. While some of these methods have already been introduced to public health laboratories, challenges remain in terms of access to the technology, data analysis and storage, and translating the data into information for public health use at the European level.

The experts made a number of recommendations in areas where ECDC should support Member States and their laboratories, which were then presented to the ECDC National Microbiology Focal Points and National Surveillance Focal Points for further discussion.