THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Institute of Advanced Virology (IAV) receiving the membership of the Global Virus Network (GVN), the Covid-19 related research activities are set to get a fillip at the national level. As per a source, the major intervention will happen in the area of vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2 as GVN has taken up research in developing preventive vaccines as one of its top priorities. GVN is a coalition of leading virologists from around the globe with research in medical virology as its main mission. Upon receiving its membership, IAV here becomes the first virology institute in the country to receive the same.
“GVN is collaborating with leading global virologists in the research against Covid-19. Due to the membership, the state will gain information regarding these research activities. It will also facilitate technology transfer and expertise of virologists if needed. From a larger perspective it will benefit the nation as a whole,” said a Health Department officer.
The officer further added, “World over the priority is for developing a vaccine against Covid-19. Some institutions which are part of the GVN network are now engaged in the process of vaccine animal models. The outcome of such studies is of utmost importance. Also, studies on host genetics have been taken up by GVN as it will provide answers on why some population or geography is susceptible to the virus while others are not.”
G M Nair, adviser, Kerala Biotechnology Commission (KBC), who is also the coordinator of IAV, said that the GVN is currently working on the apects of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, epidemiology, clinical features and cleaning/sanitisation. According to him, any development in these areas will get shared to the state on a real-time basis.