Deciphering Whole Genomic Sequence of SARS-COV-2 Using Next Generation Sequencing Technology in Covid-19 Patients of Nepal

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has become a global public health crisis. In Nepal, since the first detection of COVID-19 in January 2020, the total cases have rose to almost a million with around 12,000 deaths. Until now, Nepal has faced three waves of COVID-19, with Omicron possibly leading the third wave. However, there is still a limited data on the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Nepal.

Study Duration: 1/09/2020 – Present

Objectives:
In this study, we aim to investigate the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Nepal. The results of this study will also provide molecular epidemiological data for management of the pandemic.

Outcomes:
We confirmed genomic sequences of variant of concerns, Delta variant in the second wave and Omicron in the third wave of COVID-19 in Nepal. This study provided concise genomic evidence of presence of Delta and Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nepal. Additionally, in this study we were able the first to report circulation of Delta Plus and BA.5.2 in Nepal.

Team Members:

Principal Investigator(s): Prof. Dr. Rajeev Shrestha

Co-Investigator(s): Nishan Katuwal, Surendra Kumar Madhup

Project Coordinator/Molecular Biologist: Nishan Katuwal

Research Assistant(s): Sony Shrestha and Sneha Shrestha

Supported by: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Collaborating Partners: Chan Zuckerberg Bio hub (CZ Bio hub), Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), USA and Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), Nepal