Covid-19: India to partner China, Russia & Brazil for genomic sequencing | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Indian Scientists, in partnership with experts from China, Russia and Brazil, will carry out genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and work on the epidemiology and mathematical modelling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This will help trace genetic mutations, re-combinations as well as distribution of the virus and also make predictions about the future of its spread,” the ministry of science and technology said in a statement on Friday, while announcing the collaborative approach among the countries under the BRICS-Multilateral Research and Development Project.
“The study will provide a common platform to share and analyse the data of four different countries and understand the spread routes and transmission dynamics of viruses,” it said.
A whole-genome sequencing is required for identification of genetic mutations and recombinations of the coronavirus, while epidemiological studies can help assess its distribution. On the other hand, mathematical modelling is required to assess the future spread of Covid-19.
Under the joint research, the Indian and Brazilian 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 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,” said the ministry.
The move will 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.
The collaborative research plan has been developed considering the strengths of international collaborators from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences of China, Federal Research Centre of Fundamental and Translational Medicine of Russia and Respiratory Virus and Measles Laboratory, Oswaldo Cruz Institute of Brazil.

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