US: Professor Frances Jamieson at the University of Toronto’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP), and Medical Microbiologist, Public Health Ontario, is leading the way in tracking potentially deadly outbreaks of tuberculosis (TB) with a powerful new GIS application, known as Ontario Universal Typing – Tuberculosis (OUT-TB) Web.
Not just applicable to TB, this secure web-based system could be used to monitor a host of pathogens and diseases from E. coli O157:H7 to meningitis to SARS-like outbreaks across the country. “We can identify and track existing and emerging strains of TB and this powerful technology can be applied to any type of infectious disease,” said Prof. Jamieson. “Eighty-five per cent of our TB cases in Ontario are foreign-born, so this system will allow us to have a global impact.”
This sophisticated system combines patient data and demographics with the genotype or “fingerprint” of each TB strain. It provides health authorities with a unique real-time geographical view of tuberculosis cases and clusters and allows them to track potential outbreaks. More specifically, it can track whether cases are linked genotypically, geographically and epidemiologically, and whether a case involves drug-resistant strain(s).
Source: News Wise