bioMérieux and Illumina said today they will partner to launch a next-generation sequencing (NGS) epidemiology solution for epidemiological monitoring of bacterial infections.

The solution will be developed under a partnership by the companies to develop applications for microbiology sequencing technologies over four years, with the possibility of renewal. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

The companies said their first application will be an NGS epidemiological solution to be offered by service labs for genotyping disease agents. The application will combine Illumina’s MiSeq® sequencing system with a jointly developed pathogen genome database.

The database, with details on virulence and microbial resistance characteristics, will be based on bioMérieux’s culture collection—one of the world’s largest libraries of bacterial strains at more than 80,000 references.

Users facing a suspected epidemic or health crisis can send the relevant isolates to a designated laboratory equipped with an Illumina sequencing system. The genetic sequences will be sent via a secure cloud platform to be analyzed, using the database and software developed by bioMérieux, which will also generate a customized report.

According to bioMérieux and Illumina, the service will deliver a standardized report with a genomic profile of the infectious agents, with precise results presented in an easily-understandable graphical format identifying the infectious agent as well as the sequence-based genetic variations that would assist in understanding its transmission.

The service is intended for communities and hospitals seeking to track, prevent, contain, and stop the spread of disease agents, the companies added.

“We are excited by the opportunity to expand the number of NGS-based applications in the infectious disease market with a solution designed for epidemiology and hospital infection control,” Illumina CEO Jay Flatley said in a statement.

“This collaboration is a first step that will enable bioMérieux to identify opportunities and fields of application that sequencing can bring to infectious disease diagnostics,” added the company’s chairman, Jean-Luc Belingard.








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