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Covid: Consortium of 4 cities funded to improve genome surveillance | India News

BENGALURU: A consortium of four city clusters (Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Pune) has been established to improve genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, complementing national efforts led by the SARS-CoV Genomics Consortium -2 from India (INSACOG).
Established with seed funding and support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the new effort will track the emergence of viral variants correlated with epidemiologic dynamics and clinical outcomes.
The consortium led by the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, includes different partners from the other cities: the National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS), the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) and Nimhans in Bangalore; CSIR-IGIB in New Delhi; Pune Knowledge Cluster, IISER-Pune and CSIR-NCL in Pune.
“The consortium aims to develop specific sampling strategies based on granular epidemiological and clinical data. Along with intense environmental surveillance and advanced computational techniques, the consortium would also focus on developing capacities for real-time surveillance and epidemiology.” read in a statement issued.
NCBS said the consortium will work closely with local governments, hospitals and doctors. In collaboration with INSACOG, the consortium aims to make this a national effort by expanding to other strategic locations in India.
CCMB Advisor Dr. Rakesh Mishra will lead these efforts alongside Professor Satyajit Mayor, NCBS, Professor LS Shashidhara, Pune Knowledge Cluster, and Dr. Anurag Agrawal, CSIR-IGIB.
The statement quoted the team as saying: “Our goal is to develop strategies and capabilities to identify variants of concern before they spread widely and cause outbreaks. This will also help correlate with clinical symptoms and disease severity, potentially associated with emerging variants “.
Dr. Vinay Nandicoori, CCMB Director, added that all associated institutes have been fighting Covid-19 since its inception in the country and that this much-needed collaboration will bring together all its strengths in a structured way.
‚ÄúLeveraging the capacity of each of the city groups, both in academic institutions and in industry, is a much-needed endeavor right now. This can help create a sustainable platform for genomic surveillance long after Covid, and for many other infectious diseases, “said the mayor. saying.

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