Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Tracing and Diving In

A University of Liverpool-led team of researchers is using sequencing to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 outbreak, BBC News reports

In particular, they are using Oxford Nanopore Technologies' MinION to sequence both SARS-CoV-2 as well as patients' respiratory microbiomes. Liverpool's Tom Solomon tells the BBC that by sequencing patients' viral samples, they can begin to piece together how some patients who don't know how they were infected might have been exposed.

The BBC adds that by examining patients' microbiomes, the researchers are also trying to identify whether some people who become more ill than others are also infected with other pathogens. "We found with severe MERS cases, people tend to die because they have other co-infections as well, such as Klebsiella, which can cause pneumonia," Liverpool's Julian Hiscox, who has also studied MERS, tells the BBC. "We can now identify all the underlying microbiome, the viruses and bacteria in the patient samples, so we can feedback to clinicians that they may have a bacterial infection which could be treated with antibiotics."