visual representation of DNA

Conquering the Contaminome: Realizing the Promise of Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing

Infectious diseases claim over 18 million lives each year.¹  

Finding the root cause of infections is urgent as current testing methods fail to identify the causal agent up to 60% of the time.²  This crisis leaves a massive gap in effective treatment with negative downstream effects such as the emergence of antimicrobial resistant and multidrug resistant organisms plus complications that extend hospital stays and drive up healthcare costs. Microbiologists are seeking a rapid, accurate, and affordable way to identify pathogens and metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing (mNGS) could be a game-changer.

In many cases, mNGS is not just an option but the only hope to identify complex microbial infections. mNGS offers an unbiased and hypothesis-free approach, capable of identifying known, novel, and emerging microbes. Its ability to detect low-abundance microorganisms and antimicrobial resistance genes, while offering comprehensive insights into microbial functions and host response, has transformed our understanding of the vast microbiome.

However, amidst the promises of mNGS lies a formidable challenge – the contaminome. As microbes constitute only a tiny fraction of genomic material, host DNA and nucleic acid contamination often obscure microbial signals, leading to decreased detection sensitivity, increased workflow complexity, and slower clinical adoption. The contaminome casts a shadow over the potential of mNGS, hindering its widespread implementation, especially in clinical settings.

To shed light on the impact of the contaminome in mNGS, we’ve crafted a fictional narrative titled “Conquering the Contaminome.” In this tale, the contaminome emerges as the villain, lurking everywhere in the mNGS workflow, shedding nucleic acids, and confounding results. 

At Micronbrane Medical, our strategic focus is on “conquering the contaminome” with an all-in-one, accelerated, affordable, and automatable assay PaRTI-Seq™ and bioinformatic pipeline PaRTI-Cular™, empowering researchers and clinicians with a ‘superpower’ to transform the study, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases. This journey begins with the first of many episodes available at micronbrane.com/contaminome.

Join us in our quest to conquer the contaminome and unlock the full potential of mNGS. Together, we can pave the way for a healthier, more resilient world.

1-2. World Health Organization 

Conquering the Contaminome Realizing the Promise of Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing