The Genomics facility from BioISI is, along with several other Institutes, collaborating with Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge, I.P. (INSA) in a study to monitor the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Portugal by analyzing its genome. INSA is coordinating this study and receives positive samples from over 60 hospitals/labs, which are processed, among other Institutes, by BioISI Genomics. The complete genome sequence is identified using new generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics analysis through the online platform INSaFLU. The integration of Portugal’s genomic data into diversity on a global scale can be consulted at https://nextstrain.org/ncov.
The purposes of this study are a) to determine the mutational profiles of SARS-CoV-2 for identification and monitoring of transmission chains, as well as identification of new virus introductions in Portugal; b) to predict the start of transmission in the community and measure the impact of containment measures; c) to determine of the degree of genetic variability of antigens or targets of antiviral drugs with possible impact on the development/efficiency of prophylactic (vaccine) and therapeutic measures; and d) to determine possible associations between SARS-CoV-2 genetic (mutational) profiles and certain clinical manifestations (eg different degrees of severity of COVID-19).
You can check the latest INSA report on these findings here.