• Priority research to realize the promise of metagenomics and its application to microbial forensics and the development of the forensic value of the other “omics”: proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, glycomics, immunogenomics, etc. (Conclusion 3, Basic Science)
  • Greatly improved global disease monitoring and surveillance in humans, animals, and plants to facilitate rapid response and better disease control. (Conclusion 6, Needs Common to Medicine, Public Health, and Microbial Forensics)
  • Improved worldwide access to molecular diagnostics (polymerase chain reaction, whole-genome sequencing, etc.), including refinement and distribution of benchtop next generation gene sequencing instruments that are fast and affordable and have simple workflow procedures. (Conclusion 4, Needs Common to Medicine, Public Health, and Microbial Forensics)
  • High priority placed on continued research and development to improve physical science applications to microbial forensics. (Conclusion 8, Methods and Technologies)
  • Refinement of bioinformatics and statistical methods for evaluating evidence in microbial forensics, including new algorithms that scale to very large or complex datasets. (Conclusion 11, Bioinformatics and Data)

Shorter Lead Times or Industry Incentives

  • Development of more advanced, faster, and cheaper assay and sequencing technologies that can be standardized and made more accessible to benefit both microbial forensics and public health. (Conclusion 7, Methods and Technologies)
  • A compilation of all protocols in use (e.g., for sampling, DNA extraction and isolation, sequencing, etc.) and whether and how they have been validated. (Conclusion 10, Validation and Standards)
  • Expansion of technically based training to “professionalize” microbial forensics and increase the number of qualified practitioners worldwide by engaging international professional organizations or other entities that have experience providing training in related fields. (Conclusion 14, Training and Education)

from governments as major funders of the research, development, and implementation that will be essential for achieving success.

BOX S-1 presents the needs identified in this report organized according to the key features discussed above:

  • One set of needs represents tasks, for example, the need to identify and characterize a significantly increased number of microbial species that are particularly challenging and/or require a long lead time to achieve the desired results. Such efforts will require the involvement of governments to provide the research


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