Diverse COVID Genome Groups Found in Odisha

An analysis conducted from all swab samples collected by Bhubaneswar-based Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), an ICMR-approved COVID testing and research facility, has revealed that all five groups of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been found in Odisha. These mutations are the 19A, 19B, 20A, 20B and 20C clades of the COVID-19 genome. Out of these, variant 20C – not present in any isolate analysed throughout India – has been found in Odisha.

Five research institutions, of which ILS Bhubaneswar is a part, are leading the efforts into genome analysis for the novel coronavirus in India. So far, the group has cumulatively analysed over 1062 genomes from over 18 Indian states. The ILS and RMRC researches have also latched onto 225 viral strains of COVID-positive patients who had a history of inter-state migration. Initial reports suggest that multiple mutant-variations of the SARS-CoV-2 are circulating in India, thought to have been imported from European countries.

RMRC director Sanghamitra Pati concluded that there was substantial evidence to prove that Europe and Southeast Asia were the two primary routes for disease vectoring in Odisha.

“The phylogenetic analysis (the study of the relationship between different strains of virus) showed that clades 20A and 20B evolved quite rapidly in the Indian population and are the major source of disease transmission in the country as well as in Odisha. Meanwhile, 20C is rarely detected and appeared to be less adapted. Our study revealed that most of the symptomatic patients bearing the virus have clades 20A, 20B and 20C. Clade 20C which was found in samples here was not present in any other isolates included in the 1,000 genome analysis in India,” she said

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