NEW DELHI: Gujarat, which is among top three states in number of Covid-19 cases and deaths, has reported the highest number SARS-CoV2 whole genome sequence in the country to understand the origin, virus mutation and potential vaccine candidates. Gujarat has reported a new genome clad with two distinguishing mutations.
Indian coronavirus isolates largely cluster into five clades — A1a, A2a, A3, B and B4. India so far has submitted 366 SARS-CoV2 genomes globally and one-third (131) come from the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) a state government laboratory. There are nine other national laboratories engaged in genome sequencing but GBRC is the only state lab in the country to submit the highest genomes sequencing at an international level.
Chaitanya Joshi, Director at GBRC, said 131 corona virus genomes from across 17 locations will be crucial for identification of potential vaccine candidates and genomics of host adaptability.
An analysis of coronavirus genomes from India by Vinod Scaria, Genomics Scientist, IGIB shows that most of the Indian genomes fall in the A superclade, with a majority encompassing A2a and A1a clades and a few in A3 clad.
“The initial genomes from Kerala fell into the B clade, and are from individuals who had travelled from Wuhan. Recent addition of B4 clade to the Indian cluster was largely through the sequencing efforts of GBRC and National Institute of Biomedical Genomics from Gujarat and West Bengal respectively. The B4 clade is a sub-type of the superclade B with potential origins from either East Asia or Oceania. Sequences that belong to the B4 clade harbour two distinguishing mutations in their genomes,” he said.