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Indian scientists partner with BRICS countries to carry out genomic sequencing

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Saturday, August 7, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian Scientists along with China, Russia and Brazil, who are part of the BRICS group of countries, will carry out genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and studies on the epidemiology and mathematical modelling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whole-genome sequencing is required for identification of genetic mutations and recombination of the virus, while epidemiological studies can help assess its distribution. Mathematical modelling is required to assess its future spread.

“A consortium consisting of Dr Ch Sasikala, Professor, Centre for Environment, Institute of Science and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, Yuhua Xin, Professorate Senior Engineer Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, Ivan Sobolev, senior researcher, Federal Research Center of Fundamental and Translational Medicine, Timakova, Russia, Dr Marilda Mendonça Siqueira, Respiratory Viruses and Measles Laboratory, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will carry out different arms of this BRICS-Multilateral Research and Development Project,” said the statement.

Under this research supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India and Brazil sides will assess distribution of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental samples through metagenome analysis for wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) surveillance.

“Chinese and Russian scientists will carry out the Real-Time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 in biological material (nasopharyngeal swabs) from patients with symptoms of respiratory diseases and investigate the genomic variability, comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis,” the statement added.

The genomic, metagenomic and epidemiological data from India, China, Russia and Brazil will be integrated to develop mathematical models for mutations analysis, population genetics, phylogenetic relationship, recombination analysis and risk evaluation to reveal spread network and dynamics of the virus. This can help trace spread routes and dynamics of the virus. The database developed by the different groups will also compare the distribution and survival of the virus in the different regions and establish the surveillance of the relevant early warning system.


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