PAN-INDIA 1000 Genome Sequencing
--Must See--

Bioinformatics Summer Internship 2024 With Hands-On-Training + Project / Dissertation - 30 Days, 3 Months & 6 Months Duration

PAN-INDIA 1000 Genome Sequencing of
SARS-CoV-2 Completed Successfully

The successful completion of PAN-India 1000 Genome sequencing of SARS- CoV-2 in New Delhi was announced by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister.

The COVID-19 activities of DBT, DBT-Autonomous Institutions (AIs), and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), was reviewed by him in a meeting with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched and dedicated to the nation, the Department of Biotechnology-established largest network of five dedicated COVID-19 Biorepositories during the meeting.

These are at Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) Bangalore, National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) Pune, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) New Delhi, Institute of Life Science (ILS) Bhubaneshwar, and Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) Faridabad.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “For use by researchers across the Globe, the sequence data will soon be released in Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), given the importance of this information for public health response initiatives requiring investigation into the transmission of COVID-19.”

He added, “Our understanding of how the virus is spreading will be improved with the information in the database, eventually helping to provide impetus to research on intervention

measures, prevent new cases of infection, and to interrupt the transmission chains. To help in our fight against COVID-19, the ongoing data analysis may bring out some interesting conclusions.”

He added saying that there are around sixteen COVID-19 vaccine candidates in different stages of development to fight against the novel coronavirus. Four vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of pre-clinical study, Zydus Cadila DNA Vaccine is in phase I / II trial, and the BCG Vaccine is undergoing phase 3 trial. For vaccine development studies, six animal models are ready, and additionally, there has been the development of five good clinical laboratory practice (GCLP) clinical trial sites.

In May this year, a Pan India 1000 SARS-CoV-2 RNA Genome Sequencing program was launched by the Department of Biotechnology to be done by Autonomous Institutes of DBT, collaborating with clinical organizations and national laboratories.

The consortium coordinated by National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG-Kalyani), West Bengal and Five other National clusters, actively participating in sequencing and analysis include NCCS-Pune, InStem- National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)-IISc-Bangalore, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD)-Hyderabad, and ILS-Bhubaneswar. Clinical organizations and collaborating National Institutes involved are ICMR- National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, IISc-Bangalore, THSTI-Faridabad, AIIMS- Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER) -Kolkata, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College (BJMC)-Pune, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS)-Wardha, Grant Medical College (GMC)-Aurangabad, and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC)-Delhi.

The initial goal of the consortium was achieved as 1000 genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs collected from COVID-19 positive individuals by Real-Time PCR were sequenced successfully. Across 10 states covering different zones within India, the samples were collected.

To enable novel technological interventions to be developed in due course of time, DBT is supporting COVID-19 Bio Repositories through a well-strategized plan. These biorepositories’ main purpose is the archival of inactivated virus and clinical samples, including PBMC, plasma, serum, saliva, urine, stool, and nasopharyngeal swabs.

These designated biorepositories are authorized to share the samples with commercial,  industry, and academia entities involved in the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, etc., after scrutinizing the purpose of the request and ensuring benefit to the country and the biorepositories will use the clinical samples for R&D purposes. For sample collection, storage, aliquoting, transportation, and sharing, Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) have been developed. Currently, in these five centers, more than 5,000 samples have been shared and around 44452 clinical samples have been collected and stored.

The Minister has presented an update on the DBT–BIRAC COVID 19 Research Consortia under which more than 150 Research Groups have been supported involving nearly 80 Industry /Academia collaborations, 40 Academic Research Institutes and more than 25 Startup Research Groups during the meeting which was attended by Dr. Renu Swarup Secretary DBT, and joined through video-links by Senior officers of DBT and it is Autonomous Institutes and Public Sectors BIRAC and BIBCOL.

For producing more than 5 lakh RTPCR diagnostic kits per day, the consortium has successfully developed 100 percent self-reliance. For the commercial manufacturing of diagnostic kits, 4 technologies of DBT AI’s have been transferred to the Industry.