Following previous efforts (http://www.genomics.cn/en/news_show.php?type=show&id=644 and http://www.genomics.cn/en/news_show.php?type=show&id=647), BGI, based in Shenzhen, China, and its collaborators at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, as well as a growing number of researchers around the world “crowdsourcing” this data, are exploring in-depth the European disease outbreak helping trace the origin and spread of the lethal E. coli strain. Different sources have reported that two strains, 01-09591 from Germany isolated in 2001 and 55989 from Central Africa in 2002, are highly similar to the 2011 outbreak strain. Based on the most recently curated assembly publically released by BGI yesterday (ftp://ftp.genomics.org.cn/pub/Ecoli_TY-2482), these strains have an identical Multi Locus Sequence Typing (ST678) based on analysis of seven important “housekeeping” genes*.
BGI (formerly known as Beijing Genomics Institute) was founded in 1999 and has become the largest genomic organization in the world. With a focus on research and applications in the healthcare, agriculture, conservation and bio-energy fields, BGI has a proven track record of innovative, high-profile research which has generated over 178 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science.