Exeter Genomics Research COVID-19
Elinor Jones discusses the recent announcement of a £20 million collaboration to tackle Coronavirus
Exeter academics are at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus, as part of a £20 million investment to understand the mechanisms of COVID-19. Researchers from the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust will sequence the virus using state of the art equipment, having gained samples from patients diagnosed with coronavirus across Devon.
“Exeter academics are at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus”
In sequencing COVID-19, scientists can investigate mutations that may be occurring in the virus, which could help prevent further outbreaks in the future or to identify more or less severe strains of the disease. Mapping how the virus spreads is also possible with a sequenced genome, which will ensure future cases are contained more efficiently and future pandemics can be managed more effectively.
“Mapping how the virus spreads is also possible with a sequenced genome”
The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, comprised of leading academic institutions, the NHS and public health agencies will work alongside the Wellcome Sanger Institute, one of the world’s leading genomics centres, in order to share information about the virus rapidly, having analysed genetic data from samples across the UK. This knowledge will aid research into developing effective diagnostics and therapeutics.
By looking at the viral genome of confirmed cases from across the UK, it is possible to monitor clusters of cases in hospitals, care homes and in the community and implement the most effective control measures to prevent the further spread of the virus and save lives.