Georgian patients' COVID strands uploaded to global database

Pinpointing localised models of the virus helps identify their geographical origins. Photo via NCDC., 02 Apr 2020 - 20:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

Local strands of the new coronavirus, discovered in patients in Georgia, are now part of a global database of genotypes of the COVID-19, allowing professionals to trace their development.

In a conversation with Imedi TV channel, Paata Imnadze, Deputy General Director of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia, said professionals in the country had pinpointed and separated branches of the virus in local patients.

The process allows scientists across the world to trace individual cases of infections, helping identify their geographical origins.

[As a result of the work, a virus strand] of our patient of Iranian origin corresponded to the Iranian group of genotypes, and of Italian origin - to the Italian group [...] these mutations happen all the time during the spread of the virus," Imnadze told the channel.

The deputy general director of the NCDC said the result had allowed health professionals to narrow down geographical origins of an infection in one of their patients who had had contact with individuals from several countries.

The results of the "deciphering" work done by Georgian professionals have been uploaded to a global database of genomes of the new coronavirus and are accessible to scientists working in other countries.

In Georgia, the work on identifying strands of virus is carried out at the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research and at "leading laboratories", Imnadze added.