Coronaviruses have mutated at an increasing rate since the beginning of the year. These mutations, in turn, have spread throughout the world. This is also the case in Switzerland. For example, boom in India was in Switzerland a month ago. But it was only discovered a week ago. Again, “Sunday Look” you said there are two ways to identify mutations.
On the other hand, in university and diagnostic laboratories, where the complete genetic material of the Coronavirus is analyzed. Complete genome sequencing has enabled the decoding of more than 6,500 viruses since the program launched in early March.
“This allows us to identify the new variables of concern,” Tania Stadler (39), a biostatistician at ETH Zurich, told the newspaper. “However, this sequence is too slow to efficiently trace contacts.”
A faster method is only used in the British variant
The second way to track individual mutations is faster. PCR tests for mutations can detect them within 24 hours. “It is faster and cheaper than examining the complete genetic makeup,” said Didier Troneau (65), a virologist at the University of Lausanne. “Such tests can have a huge impact once you know which mutations to look for.”
PCR assays are already used regularly in countries such as England and Denmark. This method was already used in Switzerland to define the British alternative. But since then, the BAG has ceased to fund new mutation tests. Accordingly, Switzerland is lagging behind, which is to the dismay of researchers: They have been pointing out the importance of mutation testing for months.
The whole genome sequence continues. This has a crucial advantage: the method can help improve vaccines against mutations. “The new variants can be studied in the laboratory,” says Trono. “This way, we can determine how they would treat the vaccine.”
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