Infectious diseases are responsible for a large burden of disease in human and animal populations. Accurate surveillance is critically important for limiting the spread and burden of disease associated with infectious disease agents.
Whole genome sequencing can revolutionise the way in which epidemiologists and public health officials deal with infectious disease. Whole genome sequencing gives unparalleled resolution, which is essential for the accurate detection of outbreaks. It provides a rapid and cost effective method for identifying disease causing pathogens, which has the potential to speed up outbreak detection and therefore minimize the burden of illness.
The objectives of this research priority are therefore to demonstrate the ability of whole genome sequencing to enhance ongoing surveillance activities relating to human and animal pathogens, and to aid epidemiologists and public health officials to more rapidly and accurately identify disease outbreaks in Australia.