The impact of comparative genomics on infectious disease research

Microbes Infect. 2006 May;8(6):1613-22. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2005.11.019. Epub 2006 Jan 27.


The past decade has witnessed a revolution in infectious disease research, fuelled by the accumulation of a huge amount of DNA sequence data. The avalanche of genome sequence information has largely promoted the development of comparative genomics, which exploits available genome sequences to perform either inter- or intra-species comparisons of bacterial genome contents, or performs comparisons between the human genome and those of other organisms. This review aims to summarize how comparative genomics is being extensively used in infectious disease research, such as in the studies to identify virulence determinants, antimicrobial drug targets, vaccine candidates and new markers for diagnostics. These applications hold considerable promise for alleviating the burden of infectious diseases in the coming years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Communicable Diseases / genetics*
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Drug Design
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pharmacogenetics / methods
  • Research Design*
  • Virulence Factors


  • Virulence Factors