Journal: Published by Elsevier, London
Directorate: Scientific Directorate
The last 15 years have seen the emergence of new technologies with very high value for laboratories involved in genomics research or in clinical diagnostics of infectious diseases. In the 1990s, microarray technologies revolutionized bacterial or viral genomes comparisons for the detection of polymorphisms and gene expression profiling. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) platforms are a major breakthrough for genomic research. Because they allow terabase outputs, they have dramatically reduced the times and budgets required to sequence complete genomes compared to classical sequencing. They are invaluable tools for metagenomics and the study of microbes’ flora. They provide extremely powerful alternatives to microarrays for resequencing, gene expression profiling, and epigenomics. The different microarray and NGS platforms have advantages and drawbacks and all require further improvements in terms of data accuracy. They require powerful software solutions to analyze the tremendous amounts of data they generate. Many companies specialized in technologies for genomics analysis have been created since the beginning of the 1990s, many of them as small biotech companies exploiting patents from renowned Universities. Most of them have now been acquired by major in vitro diagnostic companies. Currently, their sales are mostly to research institutes. Translating research to molecular diagnostics for clinical applications in the field of infectious diseases will require further validation of the use of complex sequence data, clinician education, and further efforts from the companies to provide simpler, more robust equipment and reduce the cost of reagents.