Whole-genome sequencing to control antimicrobial resistance

Trends Genet. 2014 Sep;30(9):401-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2014.07.003. Epub 2014 Aug 3.


Following recent improvements in sequencing technologies, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is positioned to become an essential tool in the control of antibiotic resistance, a major threat in modern healthcare. WGS has already found numerous applications in this area, ranging from the development of novel antibiotics and diagnostic tests through to antibiotic stewardship of currently available drugs via surveillance and the elucidation of the factors that allow the emergence and persistence of resistance. Numerous proof-of-principle studies have also highlighted the value of WGS as a tool for day-to-day infection control and, for some pathogens, as a primary diagnostic tool to detect antibiotic resistance. However, appropriate data analysis platforms will need to be developed before routine WGS can be introduced on a large scale.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance; diagnostics; surveillance; whole-genome sequencing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans


  • Anti-Infective Agents