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Assam lab isolates Covid-19 virus, becomes fourth lab to do so


Assam Lab

The Regional Medical Research Center for the NE Region in Dibrugarh, Assam, has become the fourth laboratory in the country to successfully isolate the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus that can be used in the future vaccine production, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday.

The scientists used the immortal cell line VERO-CCL81, derived from the green African monkey’s epithelial cell lines of the kidney, which expresses the important ACE2 receptor needed by SARS-CoV-2 for cell entry, Sarma said, citing the researchers.

He said, in layman’s term, the significance of the COVID-19 virus isolation by the team of scientists from RMRC, Dibrugarh, is that live and viable SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) can now be produced in the laboratory in abundance and as and when required.

It is essential for the production of the COVID-19 vaccine, where the laboratory-grown virus is inactivated by heat or chemical agents and diluted for use as vaccines after pre-clinical and clinical trials, he added.

The center has carried out nearly 50,000 diagnostic test tests of COVID-19 for the residents of the Northeast.



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