Prospecting for Zoonotic Pathogens by Using Targeted DNA Enrichment


More than 60 zoonoses are linked to small mammals, including some of the most devastating pathogens in human history. Millions of museum-archived tissues are available to understand natural history of those pathogens. Our goal was to maximize the value of museum collections for pathogen-based research by using targeted sequence capture. We generated a probe panel that includes 39,916 80-bp RNA probes targeting 32 pathogen groups, including bacteria, helminths, fungi, and protozoans. Laboratory-generated, mock-control samples showed that we are capable of enriching targeted loci from pathogen DNA 2,882-6,746-fold. We identified bacterial species in museum-archived samples, including Bartonella, a known human zoonosis. These results showed that probe-based enrichment of pathogens is a highly customizable and efficient method for identifying pathogens from museum-archived tissues.


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Enabulele, E.E., Clec'h, W.L., Roberts, E.K., Thompson, C.W., McDonough, M.M., Ferguson, A.W., Bradley, R.D., Anderson, T.J.C., & Platt, II, R.N.. 2023. Prospecting for Zoonotic Pathogens by Using Targeted DNA Enrichment. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 29(8).