In-depth TB Genome Revealed by Modern DNA Research

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According to Science Daily, scientists have developed a novel genome assembly approach that might speed up the discovery of new treatments for bacterial infections such as TB.

According to the researchers who published their results in Nature Communications, the new approach should offer similarly detailed genetic maps for additional TB strains and other kinds of bacteria.  

According to the World Health Organization, 1.6 million people will die from TB by 2021, an illness caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis affecting roughly a quarter of the world’s population.

A vaccination developed in the early twentieth century reduces infection risk by just 20%. The only modern medical alternative is a four- to six-month course of powerful antibiotics that is rarely effective.  

The study’s primary author, David Alland, is the chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “The key to combating this disease is understanding it, and the key to comprehending it rests in its DNA,” he has remarked. The term “responsibility” refers to determining whether or not a person is responsible for the actions of another person.  

Although the H37Rv genome was the first to be sequenced in 1998, scientists have recently developed a comprehensive and precise sequencing that will hopefully lead to TB eradication. Bact-Builder, the new pipeline, combines multiple well-known open-source genome assembly approaches into a simplified, user-friendly tool publicly available on GitHub.  

Most recent procedures for sequencing bacterial genomes require fragmenting long DNA sequences into more manageable chunks and then aligning the resultant data with a reference sequence like H37Rv. By reconstructing genomes using MinION sequencer data without a reference, Bact-Builder helps researchers uncover genes in clinical strains that aren’t present in the reference.  

Bact-TB Builder adds roughly 6,400k extra bits of information (base pairs) to the sequence compared to the previous reference, and more crucially, novel genes and gene fragments are uncovered. The publishing of a whole genome for the H37Rv reference strain, according to Alland, would greatly benefit TB research because it is utilized in hundreds of studies each year.  



According to Alland, the ability to sequence all strains quickly and reliably is far more significant. “Comparing strains is an important field of research because learning how and why some strains are more infectious than others might help solve many existing issues.

Is something unique about particular strains that makes them more dangerous than others? It’s unclear why some viruses are more difficult to treat than others.

These issues have exact answers in the genetic code, which might lead to better therapies and vaccinations.” 

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