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Subject A team led by Professor Park Man-seong and Kim Jin-il of Korea University College of Medicine Sequenced SARS-CoV-2 from COVID-19 Cases and Registered It on an International Public Database
Selection News Date 2020-03-23 Read 99

A team led by Professor Park Man-seong

 

and Kim Jin-il of Korea University College of

 

Medicine Sequenced SARS-CoV-2 from

 

COVID-19 Cases and Registered It on

 

an International Public Database

 

 

 

Successfully Sequenced the Genome of the Virus with Next

 

Generation Sequencing (NGS) in BSL-3.

 

A breakthrough for the Identification of the Basic Mechanism

 

of the Virus, Drug-Repurposing, Diagnostics Technology,

 

Development of Treatment and Vaccine.

 

 

A team led by Prof. Park Man-seong and Kim Jin-il from the Institute

 

for Viral Diseases (Director of the institute Song Ki-jun) of the

 

Department of Microbiology of Korea University College of Medicine

 

(Dean Yoon Young-wook) successfully isolated the viruses from

 

COVID-19 clinical specimens and obtained their viral whole-genome

 

sequences.

 

 

COVID-19 has spread to the world in just 3 months since it was first

 

reported as “pneumonia of unknown cause” in Wuhan, China in the late

 

last year. As of March 4th, 2020, 3,198 deaths - about 3.4% of the 93,000

 

confirmed cases. 

 

 

A novel coronavirus similar to SARS coronavirus was identified as a

 

source of infection and it is believed that it originated from bats, like

 

SARS-CoV-2. Since the 2015 MERS outbreak in Korea, the importance

 

of establishing a risk assessment system for zoonotic viruses has been

 

steadily rising.

 

 

The team lead by Prof. Park Man-seong and Kim Jin-il, accordingly, has

 

analyzed MERS coronavirus and other various respiratory viruses’

 

biological characteristics, such as viral transmissibility, pathogenicity,

 

and immunogenicity, and researched viral evolution for years. Based on

 

the previous work, the team successfully isolated SARS-CoV-2 strains

 

from patients’ respiratory specimens, completed a whole-genome

 

sequencing of the viruses using an optimized high-performance Next

 

Generation Sequencing (NGS) method, and shared the sequences on

 

Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data under the virus name

 

“BetaCoV/South Korea/KUMC01/2020, BetaCoV/South

 

Korea/KUMC02/2020.”

 

 

The results of the research can provide necessary information for the

 

identification of the basic mechanism of SARS-CoV-2, drug-

 

repurposing, diagnostics technology, and development of treatment and

 

vaccine. Analysis of genome-based evolution can also play a major role

 

in providing a scientific basis for analyzing the domestic trend of SARS-

 

CoV-2 transmission.

 

 

The research provides the impetus to future research cooperation at

 

home and abroad on high pathogenicity pathogen as it was conducted in

 

Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) lab, Center for Biosafety's specialized

 

research facility in Korea University College of Medicine.

 

 

“After the successful isolation and registration of SARS-CoV-2, the

 

KCDC, the U.S., Canada, and Korean pharmaceutical companies make

 

requests for joint research and we plan to work with them in drug-

 

repurposing, and development of diagnostics technology, treatment and

 

vaccine for the virus,” Prof. Park Man-seong, a principal investigator,

 

stated. “We hope that the research will be further expanded and

 

developed to make major contributions to the establishment of the

 

COVID-19 response system.”

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