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Importance of Using Whole Genome Sequencing to Track Bacterial Pathogens of Poultry

2021 CPRF
The global poultry industry has over 26 billion domestic birds and is therefore worth billions of dollars per year. Bacterial diseases continue to represent a significant problem, affecting both the health and quality of birds and ultimately the producers bottom line. Related factors to consider are the potential zoonotic transmission of poultry pathogens to humans, coupled with the possibility that the agricultural reservoir of bacteria can contribute to antimicrobial resistance in human clinical pathogens. Technology that is commonly available today and is often used in human medical situations is the ability to obtain the whole genome sequence of bacterial pathogens (and viruses such as Covid-19). Knowing the “genome” allows for tracking outbreaks of pathogenic strains and leads to a greater understanding of these poultry diseases. Not only can we identify key genes that are involved in virulence, we can predict what the base levels of antibiotic resistance are within the poultry industry. For the past 2 years, my lab has been working to characterize Escherichia coli strains that cause colibacillosis on Saskatchewan poultry farms. These avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) strains typically have intermediate levels of antibiotic resistance and can be related to E. coli strains that cause urinary tract infections in humans. Some of our main findings and key points of experience will be discussed.
Tags :
pathogens,whole genome sequencing
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Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

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