Five clades of COVID-19 genome present in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Research institutes in Odisha today said analysis of samples from the State showed five clades of COVID-19 genome are prevalent. An official of one of the institutes said clades 19A, 19B, 20A, 20B and 20C of COVID-19 genome are present in the State.

Clade 19B was found to be much more prevalent in analysed samples (17%) as compared to other genomes reported so far from India. The study showed evolution of 19A and 19B are in parallel. Majority of the 19A and 19B clades were present in cases that migrated from Gujarat state suggesting it to be one of the major initial points of disease transmission during month of March and April.

The phylogenetic analysis showed that clades 20A and 20B evolved quite rapidly in the Indian population and are major source of disease transmission in the country. The 20C strain is rarely detected and appeared to be less adapted or somehow contracted at early stages of infection. The analysis also revealed higher proportion symptomatic patients with Clades 20A, 20B and 20C. The Clade 20C was observed in Odisha and not present in any other isolates included in 1000 genome analysis.

“From these results it is obvious that Europe and Southeast Asia are two major routes of disease transmission in Odisha,” said Dr. Sanghamitra Pati, Director of Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC).

The Institute of Life Sciences in collaboration with RMRC analyzed 225 viral genomes of COVID-19 positive patients those migrated from 13 Indian states. The samples for sequencing were collected during March and July 2020.

The sequencing, data analysis and interpretation were carried out by the team led by Dr. Sunil Raghav of ILS and Dr. Jyotirmayee Turuk of RMRC using advanced sequencing facility at ILS.

“This is a major development in understanding the disease dynamics through genomics studies,” said Dr. Ajay Parida, Director of ILS, Bhubaneswar. He mentioned that using in-house facility the institutes have been able to sequence 225 viral genomes at a relatively short period of time and significant findings from this study will pave way for new avenues of research on COVID-19.

He also mentioned that further sequencing of virus genome is being carried out at ILS using recent samples. This study was undertaken as a part of PAN-DBT 1000 COVID genome sequencing initiative and with active support of Govt. of Odisha.

Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced the completion of 1000 COVID-19 viral genomes by the Autonomous Institutes of the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.

The Union Minister also launched the network of Biorepositories of COVID clinical samples including the one at ILS, Bhubaneswar.

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