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

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.

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