• Science software can map typhoid outbreaks
    Typhoid outbreaks can be mapped and a source identified

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Science software can map typhoid outbreaks

Oct 17 2011

New science software has been created to help researchers accurately map typhoid outbreaks and spread.

Scientists have been struggling to accurately track the spread of typhoid and identify its source as measuring mutations in the pathogen's DNA when the DNA replicates has been thwarted by the small number of mutations, with many not detectable by most techniques, a study in the journal Open Biology revealed.

The team from the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam and the Oxford University Clinical Research Units in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, also explained that a lack of street names in Nepal made mapping the spread very difficult.

However, the team has now created new science software which combines DNA sequencing technology and GPS signalling, and maps the data onto Google Earth.

"Without this information, our ability to understand the transmission of these diseases has been significantly hampered. Now, advances in technology have allowed us for the first time to create accurate geographical and genetic maps of the spread of typhoid and trace it back to its sources," said Dr Stephen Baker from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam.ADNFCR-3196-ID-800760435-ADNFCR

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