Clinical metagenomics for rapid diagnosis of drug resistant tuberculosis

Research Opportunity
PhD
Department
Microbiology and Immunology
Location
Doherty Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Sarah Dunstan sarah.dunstan@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Deborah Williamson deborah.williamson@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary Technological advances in whole genome sequencing and bioinformatic analyses of genome sequence data has created an opportunity for sputum metagenomic sequencing to be developed as a rapid diagnostic tool for drug resistant TB. This project aims to combine clinical metagenomics with a robust, portable, low-cost sequencing technology to deliver potent genomic-based diagnostics to resource limited and remote settings.

Project Details

The global tuberculosis (TB) situation is dire with 10 million falling ill and 1.6 million deaths in 2017. Of those, 558,000 people developed multi-drug resistant (MDR)/rifampicin resistant TB, with only 25% starting treatment. Despite coordinated global efforts and increased investment in TB control, the current tools to fight TB are insufficient to end the global TB epidemic. Technological advances in whole genome sequencing and bioinformatic analyses of genome sequence data has created an opportunity for sputum metagenomic sequencing to be developed as a rapid diagnostic tool for drug resistant TB.  This project aims to combine clinical metagenomics with a robust, portable, low-cost sequencing technology to deliver potent genomic-based diagnostics to resource limited and remote settings.  Sputum metagenomic sequencing of TB has the potential to minimise diagnostic delay and increase MDR-TB detection, thereby supporting early initiation of appropriate treatment, improved patient outcomes and control of MDR-TB transmission at both an individual and population level.



Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Infection & Immunity



Research Opportunities

PhD
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Microbiology and Immunology

Research Node

Doherty Institute

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