PGC’s CGL Lab Manager and Clinical Health Officer Dr. Marc Edsel C. Ayes explains the function of the Clinical Genomics Laboratory and its role in the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. Dr. Ayes also provides a brief explanation about Mass Testing.
The Philippine Genome Center’s COVID-19 Lab (Clinical Genomics Laboratory) developed a Contact Exposure Algorithm designed following the latest community guidelines of the WHO and CDC. The chart is intended to help inform the UP System Community with regard to conducting one self in the event of potential exposure. This algorithm may serve as reference for other communities, institutions, and/or offices.
Majority of the Philippine submissions (18 of 23) were collected in the month of March, wherein except for one sample which clustered with isolates from Shanghai, China, all others were observed to group into clades linked to the outbreak in the cruise ship, M/V Diamond Princess, moored in Yokohama, Japan in early February 2020. Later that month, passengers and crew members of this cruise ship representing various nationalities including Filipinos, Indians, and Australians were repatriated to their home countries.
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus Disease 2019 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, the genome of which is a single-stranded positive sense RNA that is about 30,000 bases long. It contains 11 genes and several regions have been known to be immunogenic, including different parts of the Spike (S) protein, the Nucleocapsid (N) protein, as well as the Membrane (M) and Envelope (E) proteins, which have therefore been targeted for vaccine development.
Until vaccines and effective therapeutics become available, the practical way to transit safely out of the current lockdown may include the implementation of an effective testing, tracing and tracking system. However, this requires a reliable and clinically validated diagnostic platform for the sensitive and specific identification of SARS-CoV-2.
PGC’s Clinical Genomics Laboratory certified to conduct testing for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) by Real-Time PCR is a non-hospital based facility (NHB)
PGC shares its COVID-19 laboratory safety tips and precautions through the illustrations below.
The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) thru its Core Facility for Bioinformatics (CFB) releases today to the global community through the GISAID database six (6) genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 sequences from Philippine samples taken in Metro Manila between 26 to 28 March 2020.
Upon completing and passing the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine’s (RITM) proficiency testing for SARS-CoV-2 detection by Real-Time PCR, the Clinical Genomics Laboratory (CGL) of the Philippine Genome Center is now certified to perform independent testing for COVID-19. The certification is released as of April 23, 2020 by the RITM-DOH.
How does COVID-19 Testing work? See the general checklist and step-by-step procedure on how the COVID-19 testing works, using the Philippine-made GenAmplify test kit.