Two major research institutions in the State, Institute of Life Sciences and Regional Medical Research Centre, both at Bhubaneswar have made significant contributions to Covid-19 testing efforts by conducting nearly 62,692 tests by RMRC and 30,550 tests by ILS over the past two months.
Both the organisations 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 Jyotirmayee Turuk of RMRC have carried out Covid-19 genome sequencing of viral strains obtained from the Odisha-reported cases. The teams have carried out high-quality sequencing of 45 Covid-19 genomes by 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 would increase the sequencing efforts and aim to sequence around 200 genomes specific to 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.
RMRC Director Dr Sanghamitra Pati said this effort, as part of the Odisha Covid-19 research study team, would provide many significant outcomes once the data are fully analysed. IOLS Director Dr Ajay Parida hopes that basic information from the sequencing data would enable researchers to carry out further studies and contribute to disease prevention, control and treatment.