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Conclusions

You have now completed this case study. You should now be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the benefits and limitations of genomics to health protection and epidemiology practice;

  • Apply the principles of genomics and key genomics resources to solving a problem in health protection and epidemiology practice;

  • Understand how to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with microbiology and bioinformatics experts in PHE and partner organisations to investigate and solve a problem in health protection and epidemiology practice;

  • Reflect on how genomics may be integrated with and applied to health protection and epidemiology in own working context.

This case study illustrated the use of a gene-by-gene genomics approach to genomics using a database capable of storing both genetic and epidemiological information about large numbers of bacterial isolates and a comparison tool which is based on the gene content of each of the isolates.

The Extended Learning Content attached to this module will enable you to explore this approach in more detail including an interview with Prof Martin Maiden and the opportunity to use BigsDB yourself.

There are other approaches to using whole genome data, one such approach is to use Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP's - pronounced as "Snips") to identify the number of positions where genomes different.

If you would like to know more about this approach you can find out by taking Case Study 2

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