With FAPESP’s support, researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, Adolfo Lutz Institute and Oxford University in the UK trained a laboratory team to use a low-cost sequencing technology even before the virus arrived in Brazil.
Only two days after Latin America’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed in São Paulo, the largest Brazilian city, researchers at Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL), the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil and the University of Oxford in the UK have published the complete genome sequence for the virus, which they call severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The report was published on February 28 on Virological.org, a forum for discussion and data sharing used by virologists, epidemiologists and public health specialists. This kind of information helps understand how the virus is spreading around the world, and is useful for the development of vaccines and diagnostic tests.
“By sequencing the genome, we’ve come closer to finding out the origin of the epidemic. We know the confirmed cases in Brazil came from Italy, but the Italians don’t yet know the origin of the outbreak in Lombardy as they have yet to sequence their samples. They haven’t identified patient zero and don’t know whether he or she came from China directly or via other countries,” Ester Sabino, head of USP’s Tropical Medicine Institute (IMT), told Agência FAPESP.
Read further: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-03/fda-tcg030320.php
Link to published report: http://virological.org/t/first-cases-of-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-in-brazil-south-america-2-genomes-3rd-march-2020/409