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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 36-45

Role of gene sequencing for the diagnosis, tracking and prevention of ocular infections


1 Research and Development Centre, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Ocular Microbiology, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Prajna Lalitha
Department of Ocular Microbiology, Aravind Eye Hospital, No-1, Anna Nagar, Madurai - 626 020, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jacm.jacm_17_22

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Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a robust platform which can be employed for pathogen detection. It has the potential to identify pathogens in an unbiased nature including bacteria, fungus, parasites, DNA/RNA viruses and even newer novel pathogens which have been previously reported. The high sensitivity of this technology makes it suitable for ophthalmology applications that rely on very small clinical specimen volumes. Currently, the diagnosis of ocular pathogens relies mainly on conventional procedures such as culturing and microscopy. Traditional methods lack sensitivity, which can be compensated by the application of molecular tools, such as polymerase chain reaction and NGS. In this review, we will look at how NGS can be used to treat ocular infectious diseases such as keratitis, conjunctivitis, trachoma, dacryocystitis, lacrimal sac infection, endophthalmitis and uveitis, with added information on the limitations, advantages and disadvantages on the ocular implication of this NGS technology. NGS-based approaches increase the sensitivity of pathogen detection as well as have the potential to improve healthcare services. NGS still requires advancement in the data analysis tools, establishing standards and reducing turnaround time. We are now closer to realising the full potential of this high-throughput technology. Importantly, NGS also delivers additional data which gives a unique opportunity to explore potential biomarkers of disease pathogenicity or underlying genetic predisposition.


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