As countries around the world continue to fear the ‘highly transmissible’ variant of Covid, experts have confirmed that genome sequencing is one of the indicators for definitive detection and diagnosis of Omicron.
Speaking to ANI, Dr. Naveen Dang, Director of Dr. Dang’s lab, said that sequencing the genes depending on the suspected cases and the missing S gene could finally confirm the presence of the Omicron variant.
Speaking on the issue, Dr. Dang said that a leak of the S gene or failure of the target gene S is a marker or proxy for ascertaining the presence of the Omicron variant however it is the genetic sequence on which the definitive diagnosis lies.
Explaining the process of detecting the missing gene S, the doctor said that the mutations in the last variant occurred in the gene S and the common RT-PCR kits used would be able to identify positive or negative, but they would not be able to determine if the positive result was due to a mutation in the S gene.
“When we do the tests, most of them target a large number of genes. Now tests in India usually test for E, N and Rd Rp genes. Even if one of those genes is identified as positive, we can determine that it tested positive for COVID-19. And with So, most of the tests in India do not test for gene S because there was no kind of requirement for that.But if we have a test where you have multiple genes, and one of the genes listed in SG and if the test shows positive for all genes but negative for gene S then we can say That this is a gene S leak or a failed gene target S failed. So if that happens we can say by default we can say that this is Omicron and this sample should be on priority basis. We send for genetic sequencing studies. So once that is only done Only then can it be confirmed whether it is the alternative or not,” Dr. Dang was quoted as saying.
However, Dr. Dang emphasized that since Omicron was recently discovered, there is very little data on its transmission and spread and scientific data is still being collected, and it’s really early to talk about how widespread this strain is.
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We don’t know how severe these cases are. As you well know, this virus was first identified and talked about on November 26, and it wasn’t until a week ago. So it’s too early to comment on the severity of the infection. Different types of data are coming in and everyone is working hard to figure out where we are and where we are going,” said Dr. Dang.
As a precaution, however, he emphasized maximum vaccinations and an additional booster dose along with adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.
“Unfortunately, a large number of us have taken down our guards. Those guards should go back to their places. The promotion should be much stricter now. And of course, the most important thing is that you should vaccinate as many of our residents as possible with doses and when needed,” Dr. Dang told ANI until May There will be a booster.
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