Sequencing tool identifies teenage boy’s rare infection

Changing Lives

Sequencing tool identifies teenage boy’s rare infection

Joshua Osborn
Source: WISC TV News 3

Fourteen year-old Josh Osborn started getting headaches, fever and other symptoms after an overseas vacation. His illness eventually escalated to pressure in his brain and uncontrollable seizures. He was hospitalized three times starting in April of 2013 and eventually placed into an induced coma to control the seizures. Comprehensive diagnostic testing did not reveal anything to explain Joshua’s illness.

Dr. Charles Chiu UCSF had been developing a novel hi-tech genomic sequencing tool to identify infections.Chiu’s team was able to analyze over 30 million sequences in under two hours. Within 48 hours, Chiu’s new method of genomic sequencing analysis uncovered a bacterial infection called leptospirosis. Joshua was treated for leptospirosis and within a couple of days he was breathing on his own. About a A month later he was discharged from the hospital and able to get back to his family and the life he knew.

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