The project is aimed at researching strains circulating in the local population.
“As any other virus, it mutates and changes its properties,” says Lab Head Albert Rizvanov. “We already know several new strains of coronavirus, such as the British, the South African, the Brazilian and others. It’s important to trace the prevalence of such strains in Russia and, in particular, Tatarstan.”
At this time, several dozen genetic samples of the virus have been analyzed – they were all taken from patients of the University’s own COVID ward stationed at the University Clinic.
“So far, all samples have shown the presence of mutation D614G. It’s the so-called European strain of the coronavirus. Now we have to not only determine specific mutations but to sequence the whole genome. This will facilitate determining the prevalence of new strains in Tatarstan and to warn medical professionals if such strains have been found in order to help make decisions about treatment strategies,” adds Rizvanov. KFU’s Center for Precision and Regenerative Medicine is currently the only university-based research facility included in the federal roster of organizations working on SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing.
As of now, no cases of Brazilian, South African, or British strains have been detected in Tatarstan. However, in Russia as a whole, several dozen such occurrences have been registered.
Source text: Larisa Busil
Photo: Alexander Kuznetsov
Translation: Yury Nurmeev