Pathogenomics: an updated European Research Agenda.
Demuth A., Aharonowitz Y., Bachmann TT., Blum-Oehler G., Buchrieser C., Covacci A., Dobrindt U., Emödy L., van der Ende A., Ewbank J., Fernández LA., Frosch M., García-Del Portillo F., Gilmore MS., Glaser P., Goebel W., Hasnain SE., Heesemann J., Islam K., Korhonen T., Maiden M., Meyer TF., Montecucco C., Oswald E., Parkhill J., Pucciarelli MG., Ron E., Svanborg C., Uhlin BE., Wai SN., Wehland J., Hacker J.
The emerging genomic technologies and bioinformatics provide novel opportunities for studying life-threatening human pathogens and to develop new applications for the improvement of human and animal health and the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of infections. Based on the ecology and population biology of pathogens and related organisms and their connection to epidemiology, more accurate typing technologies and approaches will lead to better means of disease control. The analysis of the genome plasticity and gene pools of pathogenic bacteria including antigenic diversity and antigenic variation results in more effective vaccines and vaccine implementation programs. The study of newly identified and uncultivated microorganisms enables the identification of new threats. The scrutiny of the metabolism of the pathogen in the host allows the identification of new targets for anti-infectives and therapeutic approaches. The development of modulators of host responses and mediators of host damage will be facilitated by the research on interactions of microbes and hosts, including mechanisms of host damage, acute and chronic relationships as well as commensalisms. The study of multiple pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes interacting in the host will improve the management of multiple infections and will allow probiotic and prebiotic interventions. Needless to iterate, the application of the results of improved prevention and treatment of infections into clinical tests will have a positive impact on the management of human and animal disease. The Pathogenomics Research Agenda draws on discussions with experts of the Network of Excellence "EuroPathoGenomics" at the management board meeting of the project held during 18-21 April 2007, in the Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Italy. Based on a proposed European Research Agenda in the field of pathogenomics by the ERA-NET PathoGenoMics the meeting's participants updated the established list of topics as the research agenda for the future.