Turkish researchers have sequenced the genome of the novel coronavirus isolated from four patients, the head of the project said on Friday.
Dr. Sadrettin Pence, the vice rector of Istanbul Medeniyet University, told Anadolu Agency the genomes were sequenced using the latest sequencing platforms.
The novel coronavirus gene maps were produced at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Institute of the Marmara Research Center at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.
Underlining concerns that variants of COVID-19 will vary as it continues to spread globally, Pence stressed the importance of monitoring and characterizing variants of the virus, patient profiles, geographic locations, symptoms, and treatment responses.
Pence said there are a total of 92 genome sequences of COVID-19, and Turkey will add four more sets of genome data to the US’ National Center for Biotechnology Information database.
These studies tell us about the virus’ country and which countries have similar genomes, he added.
Stressing that these four viral genomes in Turkey are similar to genomes originating from Europe, he said these studies showed the virus’ migration routes.
Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.
The US, Russia, Brazil, and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world.
The pandemic has killed over 362,200 people worldwide, with more than 5.86 million confirmed cases, while recoveries surpassed 2.46 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar
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