This variant, with its more than 30 mutations in the Spike region is hypothesized to be over twice as infectious and twice more likely to escape current vaccines than the Delta variant. Currently, Omicron consists of four (4) phylogenetic lineages: the main lineage B.1.1.529 and its three (3) sublineages: BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3. Based on global statistics, BA.1 is the predominant Omicron lineage being detected worldwide, but a recent increase in the proportion of BA.2 cases has also been observed.
A group of researchers from the U.S. Army Medical Directorate–Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, the University of the Philippines Manila, and the V. Luna Medical Center recently reported 23 new SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from the Philippines, all of which were from cases of local transmission (Velasco et al., 2020). Among these samples, one was collected in early April while the rest were obtained in the months of June and July.
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.
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.
Halaw sa salin ni Prof. Eag Narvaez, UPD-FPP
The Philippine Genome Center of the University of the Philippines was tasked to handle the sequencing of COVID-19 samples in coordination with the health workers from UP Manila National Institutes of Health, to provide our scientists with crucial scientific information to mitigate the spread of the disease.
According to PGC Executive Director Cynthia Palmes-Saloma, the kit was made possible after genetic experts from others countries used Next Generation DNA Sequencing in trying to understand the nature of the COVID-19 virus. Among the facilities of the center is its DNA Sequencing Laboratory which was established in 2013.