Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that has gained pandemic status from the World Health Organization, with millions of cases and deaths recorded worldwide. This global health crisis is caused by the virus referred to as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a member of the genus Betacoronavirus (Coronaviridae), together with the causative agents of the first SARS outbreak in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012.
#PGCTalks is back! The Philippine Genome Center is hosting mini webinar series #PGCTalks featuring various PGC experts and will cover topics on DNA sequencing, bioinformatics analysis, and testing related to COVID-19.
Recently, new SARS-CoV-2 variants were detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa with multiple spike protein mutations that may cause substantial changes in certain properties of the virus. These observations spurred biosurveillance efforts in different countries, with some countries outside of the UK and South Africa already reporting the presence of these new variants within their territories. The data presented in this report is part of our own continuing biosurveillance efforts to track the entry of these new variants in the country, as well as other viral mutations that may be of concern locally.
In a report posted at the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) website, the UK variant is said to harbor multiple spike protein mutations within a single sample, including a combination of the following: H69del, V70del(69), Y145del(143), N501Y, A570D, D614G, P681H(674), T716I, S982A, and D1118H (GISAID, 2020). While the discovery of this new UK variant appears to be concerning, the report cautions that the detailed effects of these mutations remain to be fully determined.
Salin sa Filipinong mga terminolohiya kaugnay ng COVID-19. Halaw sa salin ni Prof. Eag Narvaez, UPD-FPP.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes whole-genome sequencing as a “laboratory procedure that determines the order of bases in the genome of an organism in one process.”
According to CDC, scientists conduct data analysis, which is the fourth step of whole-genome sequencing, to compare “bacterial sequences and identify differences.”
The Philippine Genome Center is a multidisciplinary research and service unit of the University of the Philippines for health, agriculture, biodiversity, and the environment.
To commemorate the inauguration of its PGC Building in UP Diliman on September 11, the PGC is organizing a scientific symposium to further expand opportunities for research collaboration with SUCs, HEIs, and research institutes in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.