The Start of Whole Genome Analysis of Novel Coronavirus Based on the Cooperation Request from Shizuoka Prefecture

Infection of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) variants is spreading mainly in large cities. In response to the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we, National Institute of Genetics, have offered cooperation to Shizuoka prefecture in April 2020 and have concluded an agreement on investigation cooperation in July.

We will start analyzing genome information (whole genetic information) of the specimens collected from COVID-19 patients in the prefecture as early as this month upon further cooperation request from Shizuoka prefecture. Specimen samples (nucleic acid substance) provided by the prefecture are not infectious and safe. We quickly determine presence/absence of variant virus by analyzing the genome information of the samples and report the result to the prefecture.

Genome sequencing of those samples enables us to accurately detect and identify SARS-CoV-2 variants spreading within the prefecture and to contributes to the prevention measures against COVID-19 by using genome sequence information.

SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence decoded by this research investigation will be released through the INSD (the International Nucleotide Sequence Database) and GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data). In the flamework of open science, our institute will actively cooperate with other projects on anti-virus measures conducted by the government.

April 26th, 2021

Director-General, National Institute of Genetics

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