Wednesday 30 March 2016

CRyPTIC: rapid diagnosis of drug resistance in TB

The Modernising Medical Microbiology consortium has announced a new worldwide collaboration called CRyPTIC to speed up diagnosis of antibiotic resistant tuberculosis (TB).

TB infects nearly 10 million people each year and kills 1.5 million, making it one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Almost half a million people each year develop multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, which defies common TB treatments. Time consuming tests must be run to identify MDR-TB and which drugs will work or fail. This delays diagnosis and creates uncertainty about the best drugs to prescribe to individual patients.

CRyPTIC aims to hasten the identification of MDR-TB using whole genome sequencing to identify genetic variants that give resistance to particular drugs. The project is funded by a $2.2m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a £4m grant from the Wellcome Trust and MRC Newton Fund.

CRyPTIC aims to collect and analyse 100,000 TB cases from across the world, providing a database of MDR-TB that will underpin diagnosis using WGS. Samples from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas will be collected by teams at more than a dozen centres They will conduct drug resistance testing and much of the genome sequencing. Read more information here.

Saturday 5 March 2016

Snow Monkeys in Japan

Recently got back from the SMBE Satellite meeting on Pathogen Genomics in Japan. The organizers did a fantastic job and the talks were great. There was also time to visit the Japanese macaques at Snow Monkey Park, where one of the little guys climbed on to my shoulders
Thanks Ashlee Earl for the video and Koji Yahara, Alan McNally and Nick Croucher for additional commentary!