Author(s): Huang SH, Triche T, Jong AY
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Abstract The completion of genomic sequences is the greatest triumph of molecular reductionism since the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953. However, the utility of reductionism is becoming limited and holistic approaches, including theories and techniques, are desperately needed in the postgenomic era. In the field of infectious diseases there is an urgent need for global approaches that can efficiently, precisely and integratively study structural and functional genomics and proteomics of microbial infections (infectomics). The combination of new (e.g. DNA and protein microarrays) and traditional approaches (e.g. cloning, PCR, gene knockout and knockin, and antisense) will help overcome the challenges we are facing today. We assume that the global phenotypic changes (infectomes) in microbes and their host during infections are encoded by the genomes of microbial pathogens and their hosts, expressed in certain environmental conditions devoted to specific microbe-host interactions. Global drug responses (pharmacomes) in microbes and their host can be detected by genomic and proteomic approaches. Genome-wide approaches to genotyping and phenotyping or expression profiling will eventually lead to global dissection of microbial pathogenesis, efficient and rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases, and the development of novel strategies to control infections. The key fundamental issue of infectious diseases is how to globally and integratively understand the interactions between microbial pathogens and their hosts by using infectomics. In this review, we focus on the events that are considered important in infectomics.
This article was published in Funct Integr Genomics
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense