Scott D. Holmberg, MD, MPH,
described the AMD his research team uses to fight viral hepatitis, GHOST (Global Health, Outbreak, and Surveillance Technology)
“We have the largest infectious disease outbreak in the United States. Our hepatitis C cases number over 3 million people, and the mortality rate that now supersedes all other reportable infectious diseases to CDC combined. Even with our imprecise surveillance, we have observed a 2.6-fold increase in acute cases between 2010 and 2014. We see the greatest increase in rural areas of Appalachia and the Midwest and in rural New England as well, mainly among young white persons who inject drugs after they transition from oral prescriptions to opioid abuse,” Dr. Holmberg said.
After infection, multiple quasi species of HCV develop in the host and increase in number and complexity over time. AMD generates data from the many sequences and fragments created that describes the transmission links among people.
Traditional epidemiologic contact tracing in HIV cases gives researchers good information about relationships between people, but analyzing the specimens with GHOST gives a much richer picture of the interactions between them, Dr. Holmberg said. This is important because we have curative therapies for hepatitis C now and can try to prevent future cases and help people receive care for HCV HIV, drug addiction and other conditions. AMD sequencing can also provide information about virulence and resistance, which is developing to some newer drugs.
Lorraine L. Janeczko, MPH, is a medical science writer who creates news, continuing medical education and feature content in a wide range of specialties for clinicians, researchers and other readers. She has completed a Master of Public Health degree through the Department of Epidemiology of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Dana Postdoctoral Fellowship in Preventive Public Health Ophthalmology from the Wilmer Eye Institute, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School.
SOURCE: EIS 2016 Conference Program, p 52: Using Advanced Molecular Tools to Direct Public Health Action
Greg Armstrong, EIS officer, The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Advanced Molecular Detection at CDC and the Impact on Public Health
Alexa Oster, MD, EIS officer, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Using Molecular Sequence Data to Identify and Respond to HIV Transmission Clusters
Benjamin Silk, PhD, EIS officer, Division of Tuberculosis Monitoring, Molecular Surveillance for Recent TB Transmission
Matthew Wise, PhD, MPH, EIS officer, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, The Practical Impact of Whole-Genome Sequencing on Multistate Enteric Disease Outbreak
Scott D. Holmberg, MD, MPH, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Global Health, Outbreak, and Surveillance Technology (GHOST): Advanced Molecular Detection in Viral Hepatitis
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