Tammy Lau has been awarded a prestigious Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) Summer Student Fellowship for her work on development of k-mer approaches to predicting pathogen-of-origin for metagenomics antimicrobial resistance gene sequences. More details here.

Congratulations Tammy!

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The McArthur lab welcomes Pardeep Gill, who will be performing a Biochem 3R06 project on the phylogenetic origins of AraC and NeuB proteins in collaboration with the Knodler lab at Washington State University and the Berti lab of McMaster’s Chemistry & Chemical Biology department, respectively.

Tammy Lau is continuing her k-mer algorithm development for AMR gene pathogen-of-origin prediction thesis work as a summer student (as part of the IRIDA consortium) and Bhavya Singh and Alexandra Florescu will be volunteering part-time on ontology development (as part of the GenEpiO consortium). Welcome all!

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Dr. McArthur has been busy doing some Government outreach. In early 2018 he was a Panellist on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare at Norwegian Health Ministry & Government of Canada Round Table hosted by Hamilton Health Sciences and then in May 2018 represented McMaster University at Research Canada’s Health Research Caucus – Reshaping Health Research and Innovation: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

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The Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database has been updated, http://card.mcmaster.ca

CARD Curation: Addition of HERA, TRU, & ACI beta-lactamases, sul4, and new quinolone efflux pumps.

Antibiotic Resistance Ontology: Expanded to include an entirely new branch describing AMR phenotypic testing methods. ARO additionally now officially available at the OBO Foundry, allowing formal integration with other ontological resources, most notably the Genomic Epidemiology Application Ontology (GenEpiO), https://github.com/genepio/genepio.

Resistance Gene Identifier: Resistome prediction for low quality or low coverage assemblies, merged metagenomics reads, and small plasmids or assembly contigs. Includes prediction of partial AMR genes. Support added for Docker operating-system-level virtualization (i.e. containerization).

Prevalence, Resistomes, & Variants: Expanded to 67 important pathogens, with a focus on ESKAPEs, WHO Priority Pathogens, and agents of sepsis.

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Congratulations to Jonsson Lui & Kirill Pankov, both alumni of the McArthur, for being awarded Biogen Scholarships as part of their Masters in Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization. Well done! (Jonsson Liu shown)

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Florescu, A., B. Alcock, A. Raphenya, & A.G. McArthur. 2018. Incorporating phenotypic testing into ontological data sharing paradigms. Presentation at Ontario Biology Day, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Lau, T. & A.G. McArthur. 2018. The optimization of antimicrobial resistance surveillance tools. Poster presentation at Ontario Biology Day, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Singh, B., A.G. McArthur, & J. Stone. 2018. Ontological classification of resistance gene annotations for antimicrobial surveillance. Presentation at Ontario Biology Day, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Jenny, M.J., K. Srinivasan, B. O’Shields, & A.G. McArthur. 2018. Sex and age-related differences in cadmium-induced global transcriptomic profiles in adult zebrafish eye tissues. Presentation at the Society of Toxicology 57th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas.

Srinivasan, K., M.J. Jenny, & A.G. McArthur. 2018. Global changes in gene expression in human lens epithelial cells in response to cadmium exposure. Poster presentation at the Society of Toxicology 57th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas

Lau, T. & A.G. McArthur. 2018. The optimization of antimicrobial resistance surveillance tools. Presentation at McMaster Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Current Research in Engineering, Science & Technology (CREST) Meeting, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Singh, B., A.G. McArthur, & J. Stone. 2018. Ontological classification of resistance gene annotations for antimicrobial surveillance. Presentation at McMaster Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Current Research in Engineering, Science & Technology (CREST) Meeting, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

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The Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database: Expanded tools for molecular surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment, agriculture, and clinic. A.G. McArthur (PI), G. Van Domselaar (co-I, Public Health Agency of Canada), R. Beiko (Co-I, Dalhousie University), F. Brinkman (co-I, Simon Frasier University). CIHR Project Grant.

Preventing Clostridium difficile infections by identifying asymptomatic carriers. D. Mertz, M. Loeb, J. Pernica, S. Khan, M. Smieja, A.G. McArthur (Co-Applicants). Hamilton Health Sciences Research Strategic Initiative Program.

Developing a strain-specific test for rapid diagnosis of Clostridium difficile. Y. Li (PI), A.G. McArthur (co-I), C. Lee (co-I). CIHR Antimicrobial Resistance: Point of Care Diagnostics in Human Health.
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The Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database has been updated, http://card.mcmaster.ca

This February 2018 release is our largest to date and includes new data types, a new classification system, an entirely new version of the Resistance Gene Identifier, and website improvements.

CARD Curation: 37 new ADC beta-lactamases, 21 PDC beta-lactamases, new MCR proteins, 23 rRNA mutations, resistant isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases, hundreds of new resistance mutations, and more. While in past releases all curated AMR mutations were those characterized from clinical isolates, CARD now additionally includes mutations discovered via in vitro selection experiments. Ontological improvements have been made to enable an entirely new classification system for CARD data and RGI results: resistance determinants are now systematically categorized by AMR Gene Family, Drug Class, and Resistance Mechanism. The Antibiotic Resistance Ontology is now additionally available via GitHub, https://github.com/arpcard.

Resistance Gene Identifier: Entirely new codebase, compatible with CARD data (card.json) version 2.0.0 and up (download separately). Open Reading Frame (ORF) prediction using Prodigal, homolog detection using BLAST (default) or DIAMOND, and Strict significance based on CARD curated bitscore cut-offs. Addition of rRNA mutation and efflux over-expression models. Hits of 95% identity or better are automatically listed as Strict. All results organized by revised ARO classification: AMR Gene Family, Drug Class, and Resistance Mechanism. Revised documentation, command line menu, and website graphical interface. The Resistance Gene Identifier is now additionally available via GitHub, https://github.com/arpcard.

Prevalence, Genomes, & Variants: Expansion of our computer-generated data set on the prevalence of AMR genes and variants among the sequenced genomes, plasmids, and whole-genome shotgun assemblies available at NCBI for clinically important pathogens. CARD Prevalence 2.0.0 is based on sequence data acquired from NCBI on August 28, 2017, analyzed using RGI 4.0.0 (DIAMOND homolog detection) and CARD 2.0.0. Now includes results for protein overexpression models and rRNA mutations. All results organized by the revised ARO classification: AMR Gene Family, Drug Class, and Resistance Mechanism. Download files now include 35000+ genome annotations and all predicted sequence variants.

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4th year Bachelor of Health Sciences student Alexandra Florescu has joined us for her Biochem 3A03 (Biochemical Research Practice) course. Alexandra will be collaborating with colleagues in the Genomic Epidemiology Ontology Consortium (genepio.org) on developing ontological terminology for phenotypic tests of antimicrobial resistance and microbial virulence via our ongoing Genome Canada Bioinformatics & Computational Biology funding.

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