WHO guide to using whole genome sequencing for foodborne disease surveillance and response

20 November 2023

Whole Genome Sequencing for foodborne disease

These documents, presented in three modules, “provide guidance on the capacities needed for WGS to be useful as a tool for foodborne disease surveillance and response, summarize options for implementing WGS and explain how to integrate WGS within existing systems.”

Patrick Biggs, a member of the Science and Leadership Team with special expertise in WGS, says, “It’s great to see the WHO providing guidance at the country level on the use of WGS in foodborne disease surveillance.  The three modules provide extensive information on the requirements to set up all aspects of such systems, with there being two main options for implementation: outbreak investigations and routine surveillance.  The NZFSSRC has worked with many industry partners to introduce WGS into their analytical and research toolkits.”

A related webinar was organized by WHO earlier this year in June 2023 where lessons learnt, opportunities, challenges and national examples were highlighted and discussed.

Refer also to the WHO guiding principles for pathogen genome data sharing published in 2022. 

The Centre continues to help members learn about, and apply WGS, so if you have any questions, contact our Industry Research Liaison Manager, Kyla Archer (k.archer@massey.ac.nz)