Indian SARS – CoV – 2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG)

INSACOG is a multi-lab agency. It was established by the Government of India in 2020 to monitor the genomic variations of COVID-19. In the beginning, there were ten labs. The number has now increased largely.

About INSACOG

The labs identify and expand the genome sequences of COVID-19 virus. Through this they understand how the virus evolves and spreads. It was established by the Health Ministry. The other establishing partners of INSACOG are CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), Department of Biotechnology and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The genome sequencing is essential because it helps to understand the immune escape of the virus and how its infection increases.

Objectives

It aims to ensure the status of Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. Also, it aims to establish the surge surveillance and sentinel surveillance mechanisms. These mechanisms help in early detection of the virus. The labs will find out the presence of variants in the areas reporting higher infection.

Working of INSACOG

The samples collected from different places are sent to the INSACOG labs. These labs conduct genome sequencing. Identify the variants. The information is then passed on to the health ministry. Required actions are taken to address the concerns. It mainly works to understand the severity of the diseases.

What is SCAG?

SCAG is Scientific and Clinical Advisory Group. It was established to assist INSACOG. The Central Surveillance Unit conducts investigation on the variants based on the recommendations made by the SCAG.

What is Genome Sequencing?

Genome is a set of DNAs. Genomics is the study of the structure, evolution, function of the genes in these DNAs. Genome sequencing is finding the order of DNA.

What are the basic steps of genome sequencing?

Isolation of DNA. Fragmentation of DNA, Size selection using electrophoresis, paired end sequencing, library construction and genome assembly.

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