Dr. Łukasz Rąbalski from Gdańsk University has published the genome of the SARS-CoV coronavirus in the global GISAID database, with the data extracted from a Polish patient who had contracted the virus.
University’s press spokesman Beata Czechowska-Derkacz said that “the discovery will enable researchers across the world to take Poland into account in their epidemiological inquiries on COVID-19. It’s an important contribution to recognizing the molecular evolution of the virus that may in the future contribute to finding a vaccine and drugs to deal with it. It’s the first Polish contribution to the 5,000 sequences recorded by researchers across the world.”
Dr. Rąbalski is a biotechnologist specializing in vaccination. The genome contains important information about how the virus deceives the human body and successfully weakening its immune system.
According to the university’s spokesperson, the decoding of the virus enables us to better understand its makeup and its evolutionary and geographical origins.
The decoding process of extracting the virus from the patient used the most up-to-date technology ensuring purity for the extraction.
The work also involved using bioinformatic protocols used by ARTIC scientists to compile genetic data during the Ebola epidemic in Africa.
“Genetic material must meet many quantitative and qualitative norms so it can be decoded. In the case of viruses with a RNSA thread, we have to use methods of multiplying the genetic material. This used to mean growing the virus in a laboratory. Now, thanks to biomolecular advances, we can take a shortcut and bypass that requirement,” explained Dr. Rąbalski.
The research at the Gdańsk University on the viral sequencing derived from extractions from Polish patients is continuing at its hematology labs.
More genome records are expected in the near future.