Application of genome sequencing as a routine clinical microbiological tool to protect public health

Impact: Health and Welfare Impact

Description of impact

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of bacterial pathogens is being used to improve the identification of outbreaks and monitor the spread of high-risk clones. Work carried out in St Andrews has been instrumental in demonstrating that WGS provides evidence of pathogen transmission which previous microbiological techniques were unable to provide, which has shaped NHS policy. St Andrews have been part of the working group set up by Health Protection Scotland and NHS National Services Scotland that has submitted a business case for introducing WGS into the national microbiology reference laboratories, and has built capacity via training and development of SOPs.

Who is affected

Patients and Practitioners
Microbiology reference laboratories
Impact statusIn preparation
Category of impactHealth and Welfare Impact
Impact levelInvolvement - mid or active stage


  • Genomics
  • diagnostics
  • microbiology