Professor Derrick Crook from our Experimental Medicine division tells us about his research on tracking infections
Professor Derrick Crook's research consortium focusses on translating new molecular technologies and advances in informatics into the investigation of microbial transmission, diagnosis of infectious disease and identifying outbreaks of communicable disease. This research aims to translate deep sequencing of pathogens on an epidemiological scale for tracking infections, and is focussed on four different major pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA), Clostridium difficile, Norovirus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Understanding how an infection spreads is vitally important for prevention. Whole genome sequencing of microorganisms allows us to construct family trees of infections, from donnor to recipients, and understand how microbes behave in general. Through its genetic code, we can also predict whether a germ is susceptible or resistant to a specific antibiotic, and give patients a more stratified and personalised treatment.