Towards translational epidemiology: Next-generation sequencing and phylogeography as epidemiological mainstays

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1 Scopus citations


Next-generation sequencing, coupled with the development of user-friendly software, has achieved a level of accessibility that is revolutionizing the way we approach epidemiological investigations. We can sequence pathogen genomes and conduct phylogenetic analyses to assess transmission, identify from which country or city a pathogen originated, or which contaminated potluck item resulted in widespread foodborne illness. However, until recently, these types of studies have been rarities, limited to specific investigations usually conducted over the short term. Given the feasibility and realized public health benefits of ascertaining pathogen relationships, federal, state, and county agencies are building their sequencing capacities, either through acquisition of equipment or collaborative activities. In this perspective, I detail research projects that our group collaborates on with county and state public health agencies, where the objective is to identify pathogen source locations with the longer-term goal of implementing proactive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00119-19
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Public health
  • Translational epidemiology
  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Zoonotic disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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