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BC Centre for Disease Control Launches Genomic Study to Track SARS-CoV-2

NEW YORK — The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) said on Thursday that it has launched a pilot study that will use genomic analysis to identify the origins and spread of SARS-CoV-2 — formerly known as 2019-nCoV — infections in British Columbia (BC).

The project, called Responding to Emerging Serious Pathogen Outbreaks using Next-gen Data (RESPOND), is using portable sequencing platforms, including one from Oxford Nanopore Technologies, to simultaneously produce sequence and family tree information on SARS-CoV-2 strains from infected individuals within 24 hours. It is being funded with C$150,000 ($113,133) from Genome BC.

"This work will improve our ability to respond to this emergency and ultimately benefits public health and the residents of BC," BCCDC's Natalie Prystajecky, who is coleading the RESPOND project, said in a statement.