Lab Grown Coronavirus By Australian Scientists Could Help in Diagnosis
Australian scientists recreated the new coronavirus outside China for the first time. The scientists called it a “significant breakthrough.”
Scientists hope that the new lab-grown coronavirus may help efforts to diagnose and treat the virus and will be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO)
China had previously recreated the virus and shared its genome with WHO, but its the first time the virus itself will be shared with WHO.
To date, the new coronavirus has killed 132 people in China and infected around 6000 people in and outside China.
The virus has affected 47 people in 16 other countries, including the US, Thailand, France, and Australia. Till now, there are no deaths occurred outside China.
The Australian researchers at the specialist lab in Melbourne were able to create a copy of the virus from the sample of an infected patient, which was sent to them last Friday.
Dr. Mike Catton of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity said that they were prepared for an incident like the new coronavirus outbreak for many years, and thats how they were able to create a copy of the virus soquickly.
The lab grown coronavirus could be used as a “control” for testing, and this might be a game-changer in the diagnosis, doctors said.
This could make possible an early detection test that would detect the virus in people who haven’t displayed the symptoms.
Just like the case of normal flu, the virus can spread during its incubation period, said Chinese authorities.
But according to WHO, it is still unclear whether the virus can spread even before the symptoms appear, and the incubation period can range from two to ten days.
“An antibody test will enable us to retrospectively test suspected patients so we can gather a more accurate picture of how widespread the virus is, and consequently, among other things, the true mortality rate,” said Dr. Catton.
The newly developed copy of the virus will also assist in testing the effectiveness of vaccines.
Despite authorities scrambling to contain its spread, the number of people affected by the virus had jumped rapidly in recent days.
Extensive actions have taken by the Chinese authorities to lockdown Wuhan and surrounding cities, where the virus originated.