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Is it possible to use whole gene sequence analysis to distinguish between a common source infection and a person-person disease transmission?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by MattDMo, March Ho, rg255, James, fileunderwater Mar 9 '16 at 12:00

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this a question out of general curiosity or is it part of a homework or research project? I ask because while genome sequencing of pathogens can be used to distinguish routes of transmission, it is not usually necessary. Usually just sequencing specific regions is sufficient. $\endgroup$ – Hans Mar 6 '16 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this. A guest lecturer referred to this practice while giving a talk. I cannot understand the process or understand how it would work. Many thanks. $\endgroup$ – user20453 Mar 6 '16 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ Are you able to comment any further please? $\endgroup$ – user20453 Mar 7 '16 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, the idea is pretty straight forward. Suppose you have a single source of an infection: each new infection should be fairly similar to that original source. However if the infection transmits person to person, each new copy should be similar to the original copy, so errors will be more likely to accumulate. $\endgroup$ – Hans Mar 7 '16 at 18:25