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Online course

Bacterial Genomes: Disease Outbreaks and Antimicrobial Resistance

Explore the genomes of bacteria and the use of genome sequencing to track harmful disease and AMR.

Bacterial Genomes: Disease Outbreaks and Antimicrobial Resistance

Why join the course?

The increase in resistance of harmful bacteria to antibiotics is a major global threat to health. Here we explore bacterial genomes and the use of genome sequencing to identify and track these drug resistant bacteria. Join us to discover how genome research is helping scientists and healthcare professionals track disease outbreaks and prevent the rise of antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsBacteria have caused some of the most devastating diseases in human history, such as cholera, tuberculosis, and the plague. But thanks to scientific advancements, such as epidemiological investigation and antibiotics, we have powerful tools to tackle them. However, these outbreaks still continue and antimicrobial resistance is becoming a global threat to human health. Genomics is a new weapon we have in our battle against these microbial diseases. I'm Dr. Adam Reid, a Staff Scientist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute near Cambridge in England. Here at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, we use genome sequences to better understand human and pathogen biology to improve human health. I'm Dr. Josie Bryant a Wellcome Fellow based at the University of Cambridge working on pathogen genomics.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 secondsIn this course, we will be learning about the bacteria which cause diseases, what the genomes look like, and how they evolve to become pathogens. We will also be exploring the key developments and sequencing technologies which have led to the genomics revolution, and how we use computers to analyse all this information-rich data that these technologies produce. This course is for people interested in stories they read in the media about antimicrobial resistance, disease outbreaks and genome science. But it's also for trained biologists, health care professionals, genome and data scientists who are interested in these topics. Genomics is the study of genomes, the DNA which contains instructions to build all living things.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 secondsAdvancements in technology have made it possible to read these instructions faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before. Bacterial genomes contain information about how they cause disease and how they resist antibiotics. They can also tell us about how diseases spread during outbreaks. We will explore the history of disease outbreak investigation and how genomics has revolutionised our understanding of outbreaks such as MRSA and food poisoning. We hope you will join us for this fascinating introduction into how genomics can be used to fight bacterial pathogens.

What topics will you cover?

• Diseases caused by bacteria
• What bacterial genomes look like
• Genome sequencing technology
• Mechanisms of transmission and resistance
• Genomic epidemiology – tracking the spread of bacterial pathogens
• Antimicrobial resistance

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain why some bacteria are pathogenic
  • Explore the structure of bacterial genomes
  • Describe the uses of different genome sequencing technologies
  • Investigate how genome data are used to track the spread of bacterial disease
  • Discuss the role of genome sequencing in stopping the spread of antimicrobial resistance

Who is the course for?

This course will be of interest to scientists, healthcare professionals, biomedical researchers and bioinformaticians. The course offers all learners an opportunity to learn about genomes, disease, and antimicrobial resistance. You require no previous knowledge of genome science to complete the course.

What do people say about this course?

I would definitely point students to this resource. Text, videos, and figures were all very well done.

Pablo Tsukayama
Assistant Professor of Microbiology

A highlight of the course was the introduction to whole genome sequencing – new information for me.

Christine Laws
Medical Doctor

Who will you learn with?

Dr. Adam Reid

I am a senior staff scientist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute near Cambridge in the United Kingdom. I'm interested in using genomics and bioinformatics to better understand infectious diseases.

Dr. Josie Bryant

I am a Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Cambridge, Department of Medicine. I am working on bacterial genomics and evolution with a focus on within-patient microbial diversity

Dr. Francesca Short

I am a scientist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. I am interested in using functional genomics techniques to understand infections caused by the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Professor Nicholas Thomson

I am a Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. I provide scientific oversight for this course. I am interested in bacterial evolution and the spread of infectious disease.

Who developed the course?

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences provides open postgraduate courses and conferences focused on biomedicine.

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What's included?

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
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