APR 12, 2018 12:00 PM PDT

Standards for Mixed Pathogen Detection via Metagenomics

C.E. CREDITS: P.A.C.E. CE | Florida CE
  • Leader of the Metagenomic Pathogen Detection Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology
      Dr. Jason Kralj has worked at NIST since 2006, and is a member of the Complex Microbial Systems Group led by Scott Jackson. Currently, he is developing a pathogen DNA reference material to address some of the analytical challenges facing next generation sequencing-based metagenomics.


    I will update the current state of our candidate RM 8376 for mixed microbial DNA detection via NGS-based sequencing and metagenomics. After community engagement to understand the metrological needs in the metagenomics workspace, we have produced a candidate reference material to address some of the challenges facing the field; namely, characterizing some of the sequencing and informatics biases. Current efforts focus on characterizing the materials for concentration; homogeneity, identity, purity; and stability. In addition, we have begun examining possible experimental models that will enable metagenomic tool characterization of relative performance metrics (e.g. sensitivity, specificity). The early results of this show that “simple” mixtures can produce complex outputs that highlight strengths and weaknesses of each tool. We are also looking ahead to needs in other (viral) areas using sequencing and metagenomics, to identify potential materials and methods that will quickly address their challenges. 

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