Novel Approaches to Pathogen Discovery in Metagenomes
Pathogen discovery: identification of causative microbial or viral agent(s) for an illness or asymptomatic infection. The identification may refer to etiological diagnosis for individuals, epidemiology investigation on population scale, and animal or environmental surveillance on orphan pathogens.
Metagenomics: genomic study on a population of biologically or functionally close microorganisms as a whole community, without separation of components into pure culture isolates.
The best-known statement on pathogen discovery probably is the so-called Koch’s postulates, in which isolation of disease causative microbe and determination of its etiological features are of the essence (Falkow 2004; Lipkin 2010). There are fascinating and tragic stories in medical history of human volunteers or doctors who sacrificed health or even their lives to test pathogens on...