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Hot Topics of the Day are picked by experts to capture the latest information and publications on public health genomics and precision health for various diseases and health topics. Sources include published scientific literature, reviews, blogs and popular press articles.

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Archived Hot Topics of the Day By Date

Metagenomic prediction of antimicrobial resistance in critically ill patients with lower respiratory tract infections
PH Serpa et al, Genome Medicine, July 12, 2022

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is rising at an alarming rate and complicating the management of infectious diseases including lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) is a recently established method for culture-independent LRTI diagnosis, but its utility for predicting AMR has remained unclear. We aimed to assess the performance of mNGS for AMR prediction in bacterial LRTI and demonstrate proof of concept for epidemiological AMR surveillance and rapid AMR gene detection using Cas9 enrichment and nanopore sequencing.

Genetic counseling for prion disease: Updates and best practice
JS Goldman, et al, Genetics in Medicine, July 12, 2022

Several recent developments inspire this update in best practices for prion disease genetic counseling. A new prion-detection assay has transformed symptomatic diagnosis. Meanwhile, penetrance, age of onset, and duration of illness have been systematically characterized across PRNP variants in a global cohort. Clinically, the traditional genotype–phenotype correlation has weakened over time, and the term genetic prion disease may now better serve providers than the historical subtypes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia.

Evaluation of a Multivalent Transcriptomic Metric for Diagnosing Surgical Sepsis and Estimating Mortality Among Critically Ill Patients
SC Brakenridge et al, JAMA Network Open, July 12, 2022

Can a whole-blood RNA transcriptomic metric (IMX) obtained in the first 12 hours after intensive care unit (ICU) admission accurately measure the presence of bacterial infection and risk for sepsis mortality? In this diagnostic and prognostic study including 200 patients with critical illness enrolled from a surgical ICU, the IMX transcriptomic metric was equivalent to or significantly better than the sequential organ failure assessment score and existing biomarkers (procalcitonin and interleukin 6 levels) for the diagnosis of acute infections and estimation of 30-day mortality.

Effect of Pharmacogenomic Testing for Drug-Gene Interactions on Medication Selection and Remission of Symptoms in Major Depressive Disorder The PRIME Care Randomized Clinical Trial
DW Oslin et al, JAMA, July 12, 2022

Does provision of pharmacogenomic testing for drug-gene interactions affect selection of antidepressant medication and response of depressive symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD)? In this randomized clinical trial that included 1944 patients with MDD, provision of pharmacogenomic tests for drug interactions compared with usual care resulted in prescriptions with no predicted drug-gene interactions in 45% vs 18%, respectively, a difference that was statistically significant. Remission of symptoms reached a maximum difference of 16.5% vs 11.2% at 12 weeks but was not significantly different at 24 weeks.

Is BA.5 the ‘Reinfection Wave’? The latest surge is a test of our pandemic priorities.
E Yong, the Atlantic, July 11, 2022

Well, here we go again. Once more, the ever-changing coronavirus behind COVID-19 is assaulting the United States in a new guise—BA.5, an offshoot of the Omicron variant that devastated the most recent winter. The new variant is spreading quickly, likely because it snakes past some of the immune defenses acquired by vaccinated people, or those infected by earlier variants. Those who have managed to avoid the virus for close to three years will find it a little harder to continue that streak, and some who recently caught COVID are getting it again.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in Hot Topics of the Day are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the scientific literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the Clips, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.