WGS Technology in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic
The predisposition to COVID-19 can be determined by our genes. Whole-genome diagnostics enables the identification of specific genomic variants responsible for the severe course of the disease.
About the project
In spring 2020, in collaboration with the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration in Warsaw, we started work on a project COVID-19. The research conducted within the project is to detect individual genetic predisposition to the disease (or resistance) and intensity of the disease COVID-19 and as a result, the development of a new diagnostic test for rapid detection of these patients, for whom illness can be particularly dangerous.
We use advanced techniques of Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) and innovative analytical tools based on artificial intelligence (AI). They will be used to identify genetic markers that may determine the severe or mild course of COVID-19 disease, as well as to study the correlation of susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and comorbidities.
People with coronary and respiratory diseases are thought to be in a high-risk group of severe course COVID-19. One of the assumptions of this project is to study the group of patients with cardiovascular diseases and to find a genetic link between these diseases and serious symptoms of COVID-19.
For some people, despite their close contact with COVID-19 positive patients, no infection has been observed or its symptoms are very mild. Others suffer from cough, high temperature, and respiratory complications and often require hospitalization. We expect that the cause of different courses of SARS-COV-2 infection is hidden in the individual’s genome.
The project is based on whole-genome sequencing of patients blood samples and collecting the detailed clinical history of their infection. In the further steps, the analysis of gathered information will be carried out to identify genetic markers associated with SARS-COV-2 infection. We plan to sequence and analyze over 1000 patient’s genomes.
Our goal is to develop a new diagnostic test. This test will allow for fast and accurate testing of medical personnel to protect the most vulnerable units. At the same time, the test would determine the most resistant nurses and doctors that can safely take care of those in need.
Technology - whole genome sequencing
Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) is an advanced diagnostic tool that allows us to analyze all information within the genome. The use of this technique in research on COVID-19 may help to identify these elements of the patients’ genome that may determine the course of the disease.
International consortium - COVID Human Genetic Effort
Global initiative covid19hg.org was established to improve the flow of information between scientific facilities working on the genetics of people succeptible to infection of SARS-COV-2. The main goal of this consortium is fast and responsible sharing, exchange, and analysis of the data.
The consortium consists of 152 members from all over the world. Among them are renowned universities such as Rockefeller University, UCLA, Imperial College in London or Yale School of Medicine, and many more.
Polish Consortium Partner - MNM Diagnostics
MNM Diagnostics is the first scientific company from Poland that joined Covid Human Genetic Effort. As a leading facility, we carry out the whole-genome sequencing and share our data in the consortiums’ database. We represent other Polish scientific institutes that would like to participate in the project.
We truly believe that discovering the individual genetic predisposition of our patients in the context of COVID-19 could help to stop the SARS-COV-2 outbreak and flatten the curve of infections.
The goal - Novel Diagnostic test
Analysis of a patient’s genetic material aims at the identification of genetic variants that are associated with the severe course and symptoms of COVID-19. The results will help us to design a quick, simple, and affordable diagnostic test that will identify the people with both very high and very low resistance to COVID-19 infections.