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Lahowal RMRC isolates COVID-19 virus

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, July 1 - The Lahowal-based Regional Medical Research Centre has been successful in isolating the COVID-19 virus in their BSL-3 Lab, making it the third government lab and the fourth in the country to achieve the feat.

The team of scientists led by Dr B Borkakoty isolated the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) in VERO-CCL81 cell line in the BSL-3 level lab available at their institute.

They used an immortal cell line VERO-CCL81 (derived from kidney epithelial cell lines from green African monkey) which expresses the important ACE2 receptor needed by SARS-CoV-2 for cellular entry. The development means that live and viable SARS-CoV-2 can now be produced in lab in abundance and as and when required.

�This is important for development of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine where virus grown in laboratory are inactivated by heat or chemical and purified for use as vaccines after pre-clinical and clinical trials,� a statement from the institute stated.

Further, apart from vaccine development, the potential uses of cultures of SARS-CoV-2 include drug screening for potential drugs or drug candidates against the virus, testing effectiveness of disinfectants, use in development of therapeutic antibodies, etc.

Bharat Biotech (a company based in Hyderabad) in collaboration with ICMR-NIV Pune (which supplied the virus grown in tissue culture), has developed an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine (COVAXIN) which will go for Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials starting in July.

The COVID-19 virus which is just over six months old has spread across all human communities and scientists now have detected over 10 different clades or strains circulating around the world.

�Originally only two types of the virus were noted, the L-type and the S-type but the S-type is slowly disappearing. Dr Borkakoty and his team at RMRC Dibrugarh in April this year also developed an in-house test (TSP-PCR) to detect the L or S type of the virus within 3 hours. It was found that all strains circulating in Assam were L-type. However, now scientists have classified the virus into different clades (O, A1, A2a, A3, B, B1, and so on) which differ from one another very minutely,� the statement said.

The A2a clade is now the most dominant clade across the world, including India. In fact, the world over, the SARS-CoV-2 virus strains circulating differ by less than 0.3 per cent. So, the strain variations till now in different geographical regions of the world should not pose a problem for vaccine development.

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Lahowal RMRC isolates COVID-19 virus

GUWAHATI, July 1 - The Lahowal-based Regional Medical Research Centre has been successful in isolating the COVID-19 virus in their BSL-3 Lab, making it the third government lab and the fourth in the country to achieve the feat.

The team of scientists led by Dr B Borkakoty isolated the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) in VERO-CCL81 cell line in the BSL-3 level lab available at their institute.

They used an immortal cell line VERO-CCL81 (derived from kidney epithelial cell lines from green African monkey) which expresses the important ACE2 receptor needed by SARS-CoV-2 for cellular entry. The development means that live and viable SARS-CoV-2 can now be produced in lab in abundance and as and when required.

�This is important for development of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine where virus grown in laboratory are inactivated by heat or chemical and purified for use as vaccines after pre-clinical and clinical trials,� a statement from the institute stated.

Further, apart from vaccine development, the potential uses of cultures of SARS-CoV-2 include drug screening for potential drugs or drug candidates against the virus, testing effectiveness of disinfectants, use in development of therapeutic antibodies, etc.

Bharat Biotech (a company based in Hyderabad) in collaboration with ICMR-NIV Pune (which supplied the virus grown in tissue culture), has developed an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine (COVAXIN) which will go for Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials starting in July.

The COVID-19 virus which is just over six months old has spread across all human communities and scientists now have detected over 10 different clades or strains circulating around the world.

�Originally only two types of the virus were noted, the L-type and the S-type but the S-type is slowly disappearing. Dr Borkakoty and his team at RMRC Dibrugarh in April this year also developed an in-house test (TSP-PCR) to detect the L or S type of the virus within 3 hours. It was found that all strains circulating in Assam were L-type. However, now scientists have classified the virus into different clades (O, A1, A2a, A3, B, B1, and so on) which differ from one another very minutely,� the statement said.

The A2a clade is now the most dominant clade across the world, including India. In fact, the world over, the SARS-CoV-2 virus strains circulating differ by less than 0.3 per cent. So, the strain variations till now in different geographical regions of the world should not pose a problem for vaccine development.

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