New technologies developed by the University of Queensland, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Monash University, and Queensland Health have been reported in the journal.
Manipulating the virus synthetically to allow rapid analysis and mapping of new potential virus variants is ideal for use during a global pandemic such as COVID-19.
“This technology should give us the ability to answer the question of whether a potential viral variant is sensitive to a particular drug or vaccine, even before it appears in nature,” Khromykh said. The professor said.
This large-scale experiment uses a process developed by UQ to copy fragments from the genetic material of the virus and assemble a functional viral genome in vitro, strictly using a process developed by UQ. Natural selection in a controlled and highly regulated biosecurity laboratory environment safely mimics mutations that pop up into the virus.
This allows the rapid development of viral variants and the assessment of their potential to evade immunity with antiviral treatments and vaccines. It can also be used in situations where the COVID-19 is facing a pandemic.