Biobanking and translation of human genetics and genomics for infectious diseases

Ivan Branković, Jelena Malogajski, Servaas A Morré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Biobanks are invaluable resources in genomic research of both the infectious diseases and their hosts. This article examines the role of biobanks in basic research of infectious disease genomics, as well as the relevance and applicability of biobanks in the translation of impending knowledge and the clinical uptake of knowledge of infectious diseases. Our research identifies potential fields of interaction between infectious disease genomics and biobanks, in line with global trends in the integration of genome-based knowledge into clinical practice. It also examines various networks and biobanks that specialize in infectious diseases (including HIV, HPV and Chlamydia trachomatis), and provides examples of successful research and clinical uptake stemming from these biobanks. Finally, it outlines key issues with respect to data privacy in infectious disease genomics, as well as the utility of adequately designed and maintained electronic health records. We maintain that the public should be able to easily access a clear and detailed outline of regulations and procedures for sample and data utilization by academic or commercial investigators, and also should be able to understand the precise roles of relevant governing bodies. This would ultimately facilitate uptake by researchers and clinics. As a result of the efforts and resources invested by several networks and consortia, there is an increasing awareness of the prospective uses of biobanks in advancing infectious disease genomic research, diagnostics and their clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-5
Number of pages6
JournalApplied & translational genomics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

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