Perlegen Sciences, Inc To Analyze Plague-Causing Bacteria With Biodefense Grant From National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2005--Perlegen Sciences, Inc. announced today that it has received a biodefense partnership grant award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to analyze the genomes of approximately 150 Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains. With this funding, Perlegen will use high density oligonucleotide array technology to discover a comprehensive genome-wide set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Yersinia species which will aid in distinguishing strains and understanding their biology. Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the plague. Historically, as many as 200 million people have died from bubonic plague. Cases of plague are rare today, but the potential use of Yersinia pestis as a biological weapon in acts of terrorism or war is a serious concern. In the event of an outbreak, a genome-wide set of SNPs and the patterns of variation that allow differentiation between individual strains could be valuable in identifying the source of the pathogen. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a genetically similar species that can also cause infections in humans.