GMI14 About GMI

About GMI

Infectious diseases continue to exact a substantial toll on health and health-care resources – accounting for nearly a quarter of the estimated 52.8 million deaths annually, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity representing a significant percentage of global GDP. Microbial organisms, however, are also critical for healthy ecosystems, are sources of bioactive compounds and metabolic energy, and have a wealth of other beneficial properties.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a powerful tool for understanding the evolution, prevalence and distribution of microbes in hosts and environments around the world owing to its higher resolution, greater efficiency, and cost-effectiveness over traditional genotyping methods.

The Global Microbial Identifier (GMI) envisions a global, real-time system for microbial DNA data and minimal metadata exchange and analysis for public health, food safety, agricultural, animal and environmental surveillance, investigations, as well as research and innovation. In September 2011, the first meeting was held in Brussels with the aim of developing a common platform and to better understand the potentials of an interactive microbiological genomic database. Since that initial meeting, GMI has held 11 international conferences in 9 countries across 3 continents. GMI has been a leader in the microbial genomics community, with a number of successes such as the development of MDM (the minimal metadata required for matching isolates), the creation of benchmark datasets for pipeline validation and tool comparisons for increase reproducibility in bioinformatics analyses, and establishing proficiency tests for quality assurance of NGS assays in laboratory settings. GMI accomplishes its goals and objectives through the efforts of four working groups; WG1 – Policy and networks, WG2 – Metadata standards and repositories, WG3 – Pipelines and analytical approaches, WG4 – Proficiency testing and ring trials.