Sanmarié Schlebusch is an experienced clinical microbiologist recognised for her research, expertise and implementation of innovative technologies for diagnosis of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. She has been the Director of Microbiology at Mater Pathology in Brisbane for the last 7 years. She has recently been appointed as Staff Specialist at Forensic and Scientific Services, Health Support Queensland. Forensic and Scientific Services is Queensland’s reference laboratory for notifiable conditions and routinely performs whole genome sequencing for disease surveillance, disease outbreaks and research.
Sanmarié is also a Board Director for NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia), and for Women’s Health Queensland. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Associate Fellow of the College of Health Services Management, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Sanmarié is currently undertaking research on the effects of antibiotics on the gut microbiome using metagenomics. She further contributes to translational medicine and research as senior lecturer with the University of Queensland.
Title: Clinical metagenomics – are we there yet?
The use of metagenomic sequencing is becoming well-known in human microbiome testing. As high-throughput sequencing becomes more readily available and cost is lowering, more medical testing laboratories are considering the clinical use of shotgun metagenomics.
Clinical applications include identification of infectious agents directly from specimens, including when pathogens are not readily detected using conventional diagnostics. The diagnosis of systemic and central nervous system infections are examples of breakthroughs that have been described. In addition to pathogen identification and microbiome analysis, metagenomics can also be used to explore potential antimicrobial resistance. Clinical metagenomics can assist with therapeutic decision-making, as well as infection prevention and control. Understanding the benefits and barriers in the context of the clinical application is necessary to ensure safe clinical practice and determine regulatory compliance.
In this presentation, Dr. Schleblush will decode and explore the use of metagenomics in clinical practice.