Advances in Understanding Bacterial Pathogenesis Gained from Whole-Genome Sequencing and Phylogenetics

Elizabeth Klemm, Gordon Dougan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The development of next-generation sequencing as a cost-effective technology has facilitated the analysis of bacterial population structure at a whole-genome level and at scale. From these data, phylogenic trees have been constructed that define population structures at a local, national, and global level, providing a framework for genetic analysis. Although still at an early stage, these approaches have yielded progress in several areas, including pathogen transmission mapping, the genetics of niche colonization and host adaptation, as well as gene-to-phenotype association studies. Antibiotic resistance has proven to be a major challenge in the early 21st century, and phylogenetic analyses have uncovered the dramatic effect that the use of antibiotics has had on shaping bacterial population structures. An update on insights into bacterial evolution from comparative genomics is provided in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-610
Number of pages12
JournalCell Host & Microbe
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

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