The global meningitis genome partnership.
Rodgers E., Bentley SD., Borrow R., Bratcher HB., Brisse S., Brueggemann AB., Caugant DA., Findlow J., Fox L., Glennie L., Harrison LH., Harrison OB., Heyderman RS., van Rensburg MJ., Jolley KA., Kwambana-Adams B., Ladhani S., LaForce M., Levin M., Lucidarme J., MacAlasdair N., Maclennan J., Maiden MCJ., Maynard-Smith L., Muzzi A., Oster P., Rodrigues CMC., Ronveaux O., Serino L., Smith V., van der Ende A., Vázquez J., Wang X., Yezli S., Stuart JM.
Genomic surveillance of bacterial meningitis pathogens is essential for effective disease control globally, enabling identification of emerging and expanding strains and consequent public health interventions. While there has been a rise in the use of whole genome sequencing, this has been driven predominately by a subset of countries with adequate capacity and resources. Global capacity to participate in surveillance needs to be expanded, particularly in low and middle-income countries with high disease burdens. In light of this, the WHO-led collaboration, Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Global Roadmap, has called for the establishment of a Global Meningitis Genome Partnership that links resources for: N. meningitidis (Nm), S. pneumoniae (Sp), H. influenzae (Hi) and S. agalactiae (Sa) to improve worldwide co-ordination of strain identification and tracking. Existing platforms containing relevant genomes include: PubMLST: Nm (31,622), Sp (15,132), Hi (1935), Sa (9026); The Wellcome Sanger Institute: Nm (13,711), Sp (> 24,000), Sa (6200), Hi (1738); and BMGAP: Nm (8785), Hi (2030). A steering group is being established to coordinate the initiative and encourage high-quality data curation. Next steps include: developing guidelines on open-access sharing of genomic data; defining a core set of metadata; and facilitating development of user-friendly interfaces that represent publicly available data.