- Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) said in its latest bulletin on Sunday.
- The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), jointly initiated by the Union Health Ministry of Health, and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) with Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is a consortium of 38 laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2.
- INSACOG is a multi-laboratory, multi-agency, Pan-India network to monitor genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 by a sentinel sequencing effort which is facilitated by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi involving the Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).
- The data from the genome sequencing laboratories is being analyzed as per the field data trends to study the linkages (if any) between the genomic variants and epidemiological trends.
- This helps to understand super spreader events, outbreaks and strengthen public health interventions across the country to help in breaking the chains of transmission.
- Linking this data with the IDSP data and patient’s symptoms allows a better understanding of the viral infection dynamics, morbidity and mortality trends.
- Further, the data can be linked with host genomics, immunology, clinical outcomes and risk factors for a more comprehensive outlook. In addition, as the reported cases of reinfection and vaccine breakthroughs samples are also being sequencing assumes.
- The consortium is actively working towards establishing a systematic correlation between genome sequencing and clinical outcomes.
- The consortium in its attempt to answer questions related to host immune response, long term effects in immunity of COVID infected individuals, is working towards establishing a Hospital network across the country.
- This arm of the consortium aims to study clinical correlations in mild Vs severe cases of COVID, longitudinal study to understand long term post-COVID complications and change in immunity.
- Additionally, the consortium is also looking to expand to sewage surveillance as a quick and early detection tool of assess the spread of variants in a hotspot locality of increased positivity.
Source: THE HINDU.