AHMEDABAD: Researchers at the state-run Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) said they have decoded 131 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from samples taken from COVID- 19 patients, which will help in developing vaccine and medicines for the infection.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for COVID-19 infection.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said he was proud of the achievement, as it will help in tracking origin of drug targets, developing vaccine and its association with virulence.
The GBRC in a tweet said India had so far submitted 366 SARS CoV-2 genomes, of which 131 were from their institute.
The research body further tweeted that scientists from all over the country were invited to analyse these genomes.
Assembled genome sequence and raw data were available at http://covid.gbrc.org.in.
No permission was required to analyse the data and researchers can acknowledge the GBRC while publishing results, it said in another tweet.
"The genomes will be crucial in developing a vaccine and finding genomics of host adaptability," an official said.
The institute was working on identifying more such genome sequences from patients, he said.
"So far, these 131 genomes collected from 17 different locations in the state have been decoded," the official said.
The GBRC became the second institute in India after National Institute of Virology Pune, to decode the entire genome sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 on April 15.
Following which, by May 25 it decoded 131 genomes, the official said.
"It is important to have a large number of genome sequences so that scientists can develop medicine, vaccine and learn more about its virulence.
The data collected from Gujarat will also help them find local mutations that the virus undergoes to adapt to the environment," the official said.
Gujarat has so far reported 14,829 novel coronavirus cases and 915 deaths.