The Microbial Rosetta Stone: A database system for tracking infectious microorganisms

Kumar L. Hari, Alan T. Goates, Ravi Jain, Aaron Towers, Vanessa S. Harpin, James M. Robertson, Mark R. Wilson, Vivek S. Samant, David J. Ecker, John A. McNeil, Bruce Budowle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Microbial Rosetta Stone (MRS) database system was developed to support the law enforcement community by providing a comprehensive and connected microbial pathogen data-information repository. To handle the myriad types of pathogen information required to support law enforcement and intelligence community investigations, a data model previously developed for medical and epidemiological information was enhanced. The data contained in MRS are a broad collection of expertcurated microbial pathogen information, but given the multitude of potential microbes and toxins that may be used in a biocrime or bioterrorism act continual information collection and updating are required. The MRS currently relates governmental community-specific pathogen priority lists, sequence metadata, taxonomic classifications, and diseases to strain collections, specific detection and treatment protocols, and experimental results for biothreat agents. The system contains software tools that help to load, curate, and connect the data. A shared MRS database can be populated in real time by multiple users in multiple locations. Querying tools also provide simple and powerful means to access the data in any part of the database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of legal medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Database
  • Forensic science
  • Microbial forensics
  • Pathogen
  • Threat list


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