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In This Issue of JAMA Internal Medicine |

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JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(15):1389-1391. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6308.
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The latest generation of benchtop DNA sequencing platforms can provide an accurate whole-genome sequence for a broad range of bacteria in less than a day; this technology may more effectively contain the spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens. This laboratory-based study from the United Kingdom defines the utility of whole-genome sequencing using a series of case studies. Reuter and coauthors investigate 2 putative nosocomial outbreaks, one caused by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and the other by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacter cloacae. They found that whole-genome sequencing accurately discriminated between outbreak and nonoutbreak isolates and was superior to conventional typing methods. The speed, accuracy, and depth of information provided by whole-genome sequencing platforms to confirm or refute outbreaks, as well as to accurately define transmission of multidrug-resistant and other organisms, represents an important advance. In an Invited Commentary, Ehrlich and Post address the clinical significance of whole-genome sequencing.

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