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  • Writer's pictureMelisa Institute

MELISA Institute certifies its genomic sequencing capacity with the ISP

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

The importance of having a laboratory capable of sequencing samples from patients with covid-19 in the region lies in the possibility of identifying the variants of the virus present in the area, as well as confirming or ruling out the presence of the delta variant or new variants in cases such as the covid-19 outbreak in the Regional Hospital of Concepción.

MELISA Institute

After presenting to the Public Health Institute (ISP) the results corresponding to the sequencing of 48 samples taken from nasopharyngeal swabs from patients with Covid-19, MELISA Institute Genomics & Proteomics SpA became the first laboratory in the Biobío Region in certify its capacity for genomic sequencing of new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

To obtain this certification, and in accordance with the protocol established in Exempt Resolution No. 403 of the Ministry of Health that approves the SARS-Cov-2 Genomic Surveillance Project, the research center located in San Pedro de la Paz carried out the sequencing of 48 samples on August 6, later it sent its results for the corresponding validation to the ISP on August 13, obtaining the certification on September 3.

In relation to this, Cristián Vargas, surgeon and CEO of MELISA Institute stated that “the ISP certification accredits the installed capacity in our center in the Biobío Region, which allows us to face the current stage of the pandemic with robust information and in real time in relation to the appearance of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 ".

As a result of events such as the outbreak of covid-19 cases in the Regional Hospital of Concepción, against which the president of the Medical College in Biobío, Germán Acuña, stressed the importance of sequencing the outbreak samples to confirm or rule out the In the presence of the Delta variant, it was essential to have a laboratory in the area with installed capacities to carry out this work.

Transmissions of the SARS-CoV-2 variants present in Chile.

Along these lines, Vargas, indicated that "the Biobío Region has first-rate human and technological capabilities to face the challenge of genomic sequencing and monitoring of new variants of SARS CoV-2, the ISP certification accounts for this, we can immediately advance in this work both in the public and private health areas ”.

Thanks to this, and through its Illumina NextSeq 500 platform (the only new generation massive sequencer for high capacity synthesis available in the south-central macrozone of Chile), MELISA Institute will be able to sequence up to 384 samples per week, allowing it to actively contribute to enhance the sequencing capacity in the area and strengthen the analysis and identification of Covid-19 variants.

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