Applied Maths closes partnership for optical genome mapping of MRSA

Applied Maths has entered into a partnership with 5 leading research and knowledge centers in the Netherlands to develop a methodology for the characterization of the genomic content of livestock-associated micro-organisms using the optical genome mapping technology. Optical mapping is a technology that rapidly generates high-resolution, ordered, whole genome restriction maps from single DNA molecules and is a valuable tool in understanding the genome organization, in facilitating de novo assembly, and as a portable high-resolution bacterial typing technique.

The collaborative project focuses on developing a highly sensitive and fast diagnostic detection test for surveillance and monitoring of livestock-associated-MRSA (methicellin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Reliable and quick identification and typing of infected farm animals and animal products will provide insight in the dissemination of this troublesome bacterium and prevent pathogens from entering and passing to the food chain.

Applied Maths will develop software to interpret and compare the optical maps from large numbers of bacterial isolates and infer evolutionary networks for population genetics on livestock and hospital associated MRSA.

The project is financially supported by the Dutch Food & Nutrition Delta Programme Phase 2 of the Ministry of Economic Affairs through the Dutch "Agentschap NL" and includes the following partners:

  • PiEXT BV: a Dutch life sciences company that holds an exclusive license on the use of the Optical Mapping technology for developing diagnostic tests for pathogens, coordinator of the project,
  • National Institute for Public Health and Environments (RIVM): a leading center of expertise in the fields of health, nutrition and environmental protection,
  • VU University Medical Center: an internationally recognized reference laboratory for studying epidemiology and control of Staphylococcus aureus, and in particular MRSA,
  • Applied Maths NV,
  • Institute for Pig Genetics BV: supporting pig farmers in their efforts as breeding farms to improve health status and where possible eradicate diseases, and
  • VION NV: the largest meat production company in Europe and the third largest in consumer foods in the Netherlands.