NUST SCIENTISTS PUBLISH PAKISTAN’S FIRST WHOLE GENOME SEQUENCE OF SARS-COV-2-
Islamabad April 1, 2020 – In extension to NUST’s tenacious undertakings to fight SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic and after successful establishment of assays for the diagnosis of the disease, Dr Aneela Javed and Dr Ali Zohaib, faculty members at NUST Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), in another ground-breaking scientific discovery, have sequenced the complete genome of SARS-CoV2 – this will open up new avenues in tracing the evolutionary origin of SARS-CoV2 that infected Pakistani patients, and will be useful in comparative genome analysis. This is indeed a much-needed breakthrough, as it was the need of the hour to understand the origin of the virus – this will not only help to develop more accurate diagnostic assays for this virus but will also be applied in vaccine development studies.
The project has been completed in collaboration with Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Rawalpindi, and Charite-Berlin Germany. The sequence was published through National Genome Data Centre China, on March 25, 2020, making it the first genome sequence of SARS-CoV2 to be published from Pakistan, and is now available on NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/MT240479, GISAID and NEXTRAIN.