Food safety

Whole genome sequencing for foodborne disease surveillance

Landscape paper


Publication details

Publication date: 30.04.2018
Languages: English
ISBN: 978-92-4-151386-9



Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides the highest possible microbial subtyping resolution available to public health authorities for the surveillance of and response to foodborne diseases. This document summarizes some of the benefits and challenges inherent in the implementation of WGS and describes some of the issues developing countries may face. Specifically, this landscape paper aims to:

  • describe to public health impact of WGS as a tool for strengthening integrated surveillance along the food chain, with a specific focus on its application to foodborne disease surveillance
  • identify the barriers to implementation in low- and middle-income countries
  • summarize the current state of WGS technology
  • describe how different people working in public health use information from WGS

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