The Patho-NGen-Trace Project

Patho-NGen-Trace was a 54-months SME-targeted Collaborative Project funded by the EC under the 7th Framework Program of the European Union.

The overall objective of Patho-NGen-Trace was to foster the development of new and widespread applications of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in clinical microbiology and disease surveillance, ranging from basic research to medical research, diagnostics, and pathogen genotyping.

Major aim of Patho-NGen-Trace was to bring NGS from a basic research tool to a highly efficient technology for pathogen typing and diagnostics on the EU level.

Patho-NGen-Trace utilized recent advances in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Optical Mapping (OM) technology, bioinformatics and applied (computational) genomics. Research activities were performed by a consortium combining complementary expertise, and broad experience. Active participation of industry was an integral part of Patho-NGen-Trace and led to an enhanced impact in exploitation and dissemination.

The development of new tools and technologies in this SME-targeted project helped overcome existing obstacles for large-scale use of NGS by European clinical microbiologists and scientists, which is crucial for increasing the competitiveness of Europe in the areas of “-omics” research and systems biology.

The newly developed bio-informatics and process tools were tested for clinical and public health applications, namely for ultra-sensitive and early detection of drug-resistance and spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex  (the cause of tuberculosis), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (major cause of hospital-acquired infections) and Campylobacter spp. (most common cause of diarrhea) strains. Patho-NGen-Trace enables efficient pathogen epidemiological surveillance and early warning systems and thus created a significant long lasting “added value” to European health.