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Real-time genomic surveillance for enhanced control of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance

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Struelens, Marc J 
Ludden, Catherine 
Werner, Guido 
Sintchenko, Vitali 
Jokelainen, Pikka 


jats:pThis article advocates for mobilizing pathogen genomic surveillance to contain and mitigate health threats from infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), building upon successes achieved by large-scale genome sequencing analysis of SARS-CoV-2 variants in guiding COVID-19 monitoring and public health responses and adopting a One Health approach. Capabilities of laboratory-based surveillance and epidemic alert systems should be enhanced by fostering (i) universal access to real-time whole genome sequence (WGS) data of pathogens to inform clinical practice, infection control, public health policies, and vaccine and antimicrobial drug research and development; (ii) integration of diagnostic microbiology data, data from testing asymptomatic individuals, pathogen sequence data, clinical data, and epidemiological data into surveillance programs; (iii) stronger cross-sectorial collaborations between healthcare, public health, animal health, and environmental surveillance and research using One Health approaches, toward understanding the ecology and transmission pathways of pathogens and AMR across ecosystems; (iv) international collaboration and interconnection of surveillance networks, harmonization of laboratory methods, and standardization of surveillance methods for global reporting, including on pathogen genomic variant or strain nomenclature; (v) responsible data sharing between surveillance networks, databases, and platforms according to FAIR (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability) principles; and (vi) research on genomic surveillance system implementation and its cost-effectiveness for different pathogens and AMR threats across different settings. Regional and global One Health policies and governance initiatives should foster the concerted development and efficient utilization of pathogen genomic surveillance to protect the health of humans, animals, and the environment.</jats:p>


Peer reviewed: True


31 Biological Sciences, 32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, 3107 Microbiology, 3202 Clinical Sciences, 3207 Medical Microbiology, Prevention, Coronaviruses, Health Services, Biotechnology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Biodefense, Clinical Research, Infectious Diseases, 2.5 Research design and methodologies (aetiology), 2 Aetiology, Infection, 3 Good Health and Well Being

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Frontiers in Science

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Frontiers Media SA