Bhubaneswar, June 2: Two major research institutions of the state, Institute of Life Sciences, an autonomous institute of Department of Biotechnology Govt. of India and Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, of the Indian Council of Medical Research, have made significant contribution to COVID-19 testing efforts in the state, conducting nearly 62,692 tests by RMRC and 30,550 tests by ILS, over the past two months.
In a major research initiative, both the organizations have joined hands to undertake advanced scientific research focusing on disease biology, epidemiology, diversity, immune response, diagnostics and therapeutics related to COVID-19.
The research teams of both institutions led by Dr. Sunil Raghav of ILS and Dr. JyotirmayeeTuruk of RMRC have carried out COVID -19 genome sequencing of viral strains obtained from Odisha reported cases.
The research team have carried out high quality sequencing of 45 COVID 19 genomes, using the high throughput sequencing facility at ILS, of which 36 were of high quality with less than 1% gap and remaining with less than 10% gap.
The sequence information has been submitted to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) database, which hosts sequence information from round the globe. In the coming days, ILS and RMRC will increase the sequencing efforts and will aim to sequence around 200 genomes specific to state of Odisha.
“This data will be of great relevance in understanding of migration of viral strain from point of origin, will elucidate the pathotypes and provide information on diversity and virulence of the strains”, said Dr. Raghav and Dr.Turuk.
Director, RMRC Dr Sanghamitra Pati, said that this effort as a part of the Odisha COVID -19 research study team will provide many significant outcomes once the data are fully analysed.
Dr. Ajay Parida, Director, ILS hoped that basic information from the sequencing data will enable researchers to carry out further studies and will contribute to disease prevention, control and treatment.