Yury Khudyakov, Ph.D.

Microbiologist/Team Lead
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
Title of Presentation: 
Hepatitis Molecular Surveillance by GHOSTing
Abstract : 

Viral hepatitis, a major health problem worldwide, is caused by infection with 5 viruses, all belonging to different viral families. Effective molecular surveillance focused on measuring disease and its dissemination among human populations is essential for the development of successful public health interventions to interrupt transmission and reduce hepatitis-related morbidity and mortality. To be effective and relevant to public health, molecular surveillance must be massive and in real-time. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology generates large quantities of viral genetic data suitable for application in surveillance. However, NGS application alone is not sufficient for molecular surveillance to be most effective. Considering that an estimated 170 million people are currently infected with hepatitis C virus, there is not a single laboratory that has the capacity to collect serum specimens, and sequence and analyze viral variants from just 1% of infected persons. However, by employing a specially organized crowd-sourcing system for massive data gathering and analysis, effective molecular surveillance can be achieved. I'll describe Global Health, Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (GHOST), which is a technological environment that integrates - in a particular way - molecular, computational and information technologies for molecular surveillance of infectious diseases and is currently being applied to viral hepatitis for detection of transmission networks.