Pathogen Genomic Sequencing




Pathogen Genomic Sequencing

The Pathogen Genomic Sequencing program initiated by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) in 2002 focuses on characterizing the genetic components of pathogens in order to develop novel diagnostics, treatments and therapies for the diseases they cause. In particular, the program will collect an inventory of genes and proteins that are specific to pathogens and then look for patterns among these molecules. This information will facilitate the development of tools for identifying pathogens in a variety of vectors. It will also provide a foundation for engineering antibodies to identify pathogens. Initially, one representative strain of the bacteria that cause a variety of diseases (or their close relatives) are being studied for this program: Brucella suis (brucellosis), Burkholderia mallei (melioidosis), Clostridium perfringens (botulism), Coxiella burnetti (Q fever), Franciscella tularensis (tulareremia), and Rickettsia typhi (Rocky Mountain spotted fever).

As part of the Pathogen Genomic Sequencing project, a website focusing on orthopox viruses has been created. Known as the Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource, this website serves as a repository for genetic sequence data for orthopox viruses. It currently contains sequence data for 35 viral pathogens including the virus that causes smallpox. In addition, the website contains data-mining and sequence analysis software and a poxvirus literature resource. The goals of the Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource are the development of novel therapies for human diseases caused by orthopox viruses, the ability to detect orthopox viruses in the environment and the development of quick diagnostic tools for detecting pox diseases.

█ FURTHER READING:

ELECTRONIC:

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Defense Sciences Office. "Pathogen Genomic Sequencing." < http://www.darpa.mil/leaving.asp?url http://www.poxvirus.org. > (April 1, 2003).

Poxvirus Bioinformatics Resource Center. < http://www.poxvirus.org/ > (April 1, 2003).

SEE ALSO

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
Pathogens




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