Mexican scientists decode the genome of COVID-19 genetic variants

Mexican scientists have analyzed the complete genome of 17 SARS-CoV-2 viruses that cause COVID-19

Mexican scientists decode the genome of COVID-19 genetic variants
A technician demonstrating how to inject a nucleic acid sample onto a disk for analysis, in a lab – Photo: Greg Baker/AFP
English 24/04/2020 17:53 Teresa Moreno Mexico City Actualizada 18:14
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Mexican scientists have analyzed the complete genome of 17 SARS-CoV-2 viruses that cause COVID-19.

The scientific team that carried out the research revealed in a statement that, after analyzing 10 COVID-19 cases introduced in Mexico, it was possible to determine and sustain that the majority of the introductions come from different regions in Europe.

“We found evidence that the local transmission between people who traveled abroad and people who live in the same area in Mexico possibly took place since the second week of March.

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“The sequence of the genomes show high conservation (a 99.97% identity mínimum) compared to the first outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in Wuhan, China. The changes identified in the genome define the circulation of two of the three genotypes reported so far, lineage A (also called G) and lineage B (also called S), they informed.

Mexico’s Health Ministry established a team of scientists to analyze the sequence of the genome of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Mexico.

This team is made up of research personnel and experts from the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference, the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, the Mexican Institute for Social Security, the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as well as Mexicans working at the Oxford University.

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The team of Mexican scientists, who will publish their analysis in a scientific magazine, think it is highly important to keep surveillance over the evolution of the genome of the virus to detect mutations and changes on its behavior, from infection levels, virulence, stability, the apparition of drug-resistant variants or if the efficiency of future vaccines is reduced.

“It’s essential to maintain epidemiological and  genomic surveillance of the virus in our country to identify variants that can circulate in Mexico by adapting to certain environmental characteristics, as well as to genetic and epidemiological determinants of the Mexican population.”

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