Strategy for novel pathogen detection in public health. Currently, specimens are sent for conventional laboratory tests. If one of these tests is positive (dashed arrows), then an actionable result is generated. If these are all negative, then investigational methods such as metagenomics can be employed afterwards (white arrows). With advances in metagenomics, these methods may be performed earlier in the diagnostic algorithm in the future (black arrows) instead of following multiple traditional laboratory tests.