South Africa: SA's First Successful Genome Sequencing of a Local SARS-CoV-2 Sample Will Help Global Fight Against the Disease

(file photo).

South Africa's first successful genome sequencing of a locally collected sample of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is now being added to an international database to help better understand the disease.

Knowing the enemy of Covid-19 from a genetic perspective adds to understanding the puzzle of the virus that's killed more than 70,600 people around the world.

Yesterday (Monday 6 April), South African researchers announced in a report the successful genome sequencing of a local sample of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that's given rise to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scientists at the NICD (National Institute of Communicable Diseases) together with colleagues at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (Sanbi) at the University of the Western Cape were able to collect, analyse, and sequence the virus sample collected from the nose and throat of a patient in KwaZulu-Natal. The patient had returned to South Africa from a trip to Italy at the beginning of March.

This is South Africa's first genetic fingerprint of a locally analysed virus sample to be added to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) records. Currently, there are about 4,000 SARS-COV-2 genetically sequenced virus samples in the database. Each addition boosts this still relatively small number of samples,...

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