Near East University COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Laboratory Responsible Assoc. Dr. The online webinar was moderated by Mahmut Çerkez Ergören, Deputy Director of the UK COVID-19 Genome Consortium and Cambridge University Faculty Member Dr. Ewan Harrison and Dr. Bas Oude Munnink participated as a speaker.
In the webinar where SARS-CoV-2 genetics, genetic diversity and reported mutations, molecular diagnosis methods applied and vaccine applications developed were discussed, Dr. Ewan Harrison talked about his UK experience.
UK Forms COVID-19 Genome Consortium
Dr. Ewan Harrison said that the COVID-16 Genome Consortium, covering 4 regions and 19 national units in the UK, was created in March 2020. He stated that among the objectives of the commission are the detection of SARS-CoV-2 mutations and variations, the combination of results with the human genome and other databases, and the global distribution of SARS-CoV-2. Stating that the SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis is important and that approximately 20 thousand genome analyzes are performed per week in the UK, Dr. Harrison stated that the British government and university organizations played an important role in the formation of this consortium. Dr. Harrison also emphasized that this consortium includes scientists at important academic levels.
Dr. Harrision said that many of the genome analyzes carried out in the UK were made with Oxford Nanopore Technology, which will also be used by the Near East University Genome Laboratory. Stating that they have analyzed more than 400 thousand SARS-CoV-2 variants to date, Dr. Harrison also stated that the people who were vaccinated also performed serial analyzes. Referring to the importance of information sharing, Dr. Harrison emphasized that patient data should be publicly available in the COVID-19 pandemic.
British Variant 60-70 Percent Raid in the Netherlands
Dr. In his speech, Bas Oude Munnink gave information about the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 genome over time and the common SARS-CoV-2 variants. Expressing that the studies conducted at Erasmus University have carried out Oxford Nanopore Technology whole genome analysis, Dr. Munnink stated that they saw the first COVID-19 case on February 27, 2020 and made the genome analysis within 48 hours.
Dr. Munnink announced that they observed COVID-19 in the Netherlands mostly in hospital workers, farmers, nursing homes, gyms and schools. Dr. Munnick explained how the B.1.1.7 variant, known as the UK variant, turned into the South African variant, saying that the British variant in the Netherlands is 60-70 percent dominant.
Dr. Bas Oude Munnink stated that they used PCR mutation assay analyzes as well as sequence analysis to give faster diagnosis.
All Institutions Should Work in Cooperation in Combating Pandemic
Also moderating the webinar, Near East University COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Laboratory Responsible Assoc. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören said, “States in the world manage the pandemic process in cooperation with universities. In our country, the development of effective cooperation between relevant institutions and universities will ensure a healthier management of the pandemic process. Near East University, which is capable of performing SARS-CoV-2 genome and variant analysis, is ready to cooperate at this point ”.
Stating that SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis and mutation determinations should be done for every positive patient in our country, Assoc. Dr. Ergören stated that vaccination policies should be guided according to the results of variant analysis. Assoc. Dr. Ergören once again emphasized that as Near East University, they have the technology to carry out SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis studies in Northern Cyprus.