Research sheds light on genetic processes underlying meningitis and gastroenteritis

phys.org | 10/24/2018 | Staff
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The software, called PhasomeIt, rapidly scans through large sets of genomes and identifies their phase variable genes, whilst also comparing all of these genes against one another. This can help in our understanding of the genetic processes underlying a range of deadly diseases.

Researchers from the University of Leicester, led by Dr. Chris Bayliss from the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology, have applied this software to a large number of genome sequences for two families of bacteria – Neisseria meningitidis (a significant cause of meningitis) and Campylobacter jejuni (the most frequent cause of foodborne gastroenteritis). The studies have been published in the journals PLOS One and Microbial Genomics.

Dr - Bayliss - Others - Analysis - Sets

Dr. Bayliss explained: "We and others predict that in-depth analysis of these large sets of genomes will shed light on how these pathogens adapt to life within their human and poultry hosts and how genetic changes may lead to detrimental infections."

Modern DNA sequencing technologies now produce an enormous volume of genomic - the entire genetic content of an organism—information for many different organisms – from humans down to microorganisms.

Cases - Data - Computer - Software

In many cases there is even too much data to effectively analyse with currently available computer software.

"One mechanism that both of these bacteria use to adapt to environmental and host pressures is the reversible switching ON or OFF of genes that encode molecules responsible for interactions with the host," explains Joe Wanford, a Ph.D. student working on the research in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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