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Scientists use genome sequencing to halt superbug outbreak

Researchers have used DNA sequencing for the first time to identify, analyse and put a halt to an infectious disease outbreak in a hospital.

The success of the technique, which used fast genome sequencing technology to control an outbreak of the MRSA superbug on a baby ward, suggests it could be used to control hospital bugs, salmonella and E.coli infections and diseases like tuberculosis, scientists said.

"What we have glimpsed through this pioneering study is a future in which new sequencing methods will help us to identify, manage and stop hospital outbreaks," said Nick Brown, an infection control doctor at Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge, who co-led the study and presented the findings at a briefing.

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