Sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genome
Researchers at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) started sequencing samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus provided by hospital units in the Lisbon region. The samples are sequenced and compared with other genomes of the virus. Internationally a total of 4279 have already been sequenced and IGC expects to sequence 2000 genomes in the next 3 months.
Knowing the virus and its potential mutations is fundamental to set containment, treatment and prevention strategies. The data will be added to open access platforms that allow all scientific community to share this information. It is estimated that the virus mutates around 26 times a year.
New lines of Research
Several teams at the IGC are redirecting part of their research with the aim of knowing more about the new coronavirus. These new studies will focus in the virology and evolution fields as well as in the immunology and tolerance to infection subjects.
These projects will allow us to expand knowledge about mutation rates of the virus, on how it replicates, and also on the tolerance to infection, allowing us to evaluate the effectiveness of medicines already available in the market and open the way for new therapies.