Microbial genome sequencing has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance. However, widespread use is currently held back by the need for substantial computer power and the complexity of the data produced.
meResearchers from the University of Oxford have now developed a computer program called Mykrobe that could predict antibiotic resistance in only three minutes.
In a retrospective study, published in Nature Communications (online, 21 December 2015)
, researchers used raw sequence data from more than 4,000 Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis samples to test the Mykrobe software. Resistance to 12 antibiotics was predicted with a high level of accuracy.
The software is currently being trialled in three UK hospitals as part of a programme to make whole genome sequencing a routine tool for infection control in the NHS.
 Bradley P, Gordon NC, Walker TM, et al. Rapid antibiotic-resistance predictions from genome sequence data for Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Nature Communications 2015; 6: 10063. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10063