Improving the quality and workflow of bacterial genome sequencing and analysis: paving the way for a Switzerland-wide molecular epidemiological surveillance platform

Swiss Med Wkly. 2018 Dec 15:148:w14693. doi: 10.4414/smw.2018.14693. eCollection 2018 Dec 3.


Facing multidrug resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens is one of the most important challenges for our society. The spread of highly virulent and resistant pathogens can be described using molecular typing technologies; in particular, whole genome sequencing (WGS) data can be used for molecular typing purposes with high resolution. WGS data analysis can explain the spatiotemporal patterns of pathogen transmission. However, the transmission between compartments (human, animal, food, environment) is very complex. Interoperable and curated metadata are a key requirement for fully understanding this complexity. In addition, high quality sequence data are a key element between centres using WGS data for diagnostic and epidemiological applications. We aim to describe steps to improve WGS data analysis and to implement a molecular surveillance platform allowing integration of high resolution WGS typing data and epidemiological data.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Genome, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology* / organization & administration
  • Molecular Typing* / methods
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Switzerland
  • Whole Genome Sequencing / methods*
  • Whole Genome Sequencing / standards
  • Workflow*