Herisauer Nachrichten – Search for dangerous mutations

31.01.2021 10:00

The Center for Laboratory Medicine St.Gallen typifies the corona virus

After the number of infections in Great Britain and Ireland has skyrocketed due to a mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, attempts are being made in this country to contain the spread of the “British variant” as much as possible. The St. Gallen Center for Laboratory Medicine is also involved in the search for the mutated virus.

medicine In order to be able to assess the epidemic situation and the danger posed by the mutated variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the newly emerged variants must first be identified. The exact typing is carried out by what is known as genome sequencing. In addition to university laboratories, the St.Gallen Center for Laboratory Medicine is also involved in the analysis of the genetic material of the virus. “So far we have detected the British variant B.1.1.7 in two samples by means of sequencing,” writes the Center for Laboratory Medicine when asked. In some proven mutations, it is still being clarified whether this is a variant. Since last summer the Center for Laboratory Medicine has been using genome sequencing to determine the genetic fingerprint of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has been routine since the beginning of January. However, the virus variant is not detected in every positive test, but so far “only if a specific mutation is detected that is common to the so-called? Variants-of-concern? To which the British variant belongs”, as the laboratory reports. Ultimately, thanks to these analyzes, the infection process should be mapped more precisely.

Mobile Testequipen

The Center for Laboratory Medicine not only tests submitted samples, but also goes to various companies with its own mobile test teams. “By recognizing asymptomatic positive people, the spread of the virus can be prevented and occupational safety can be maintained at the workplace,” writes the Center for Laboratory Medicine in a press release. Around 20 companies would use the offer so far, do those responsible explain when asked? including a Formula 1 team. “When samples are taken for up to 100 people, there is usually one person on site, and two to three people above. This way we can work very quickly and keep absences from work to a minimum, ”the laboratory announces. When asked whether the canton of St.Gallen, which has had the highest excess mortality rate among people over 65 since the outbreak of the second wave, was not tested enough, those responsible wrote: “Compared to the first wave in spring last year was tested significantly more overall. One can only make a statement on this question in retrospect. “

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