Australian scientists grow coronavirus within the lab — game-changing tool to diagnose, develop vaccines
For the primary time, the novel coronavirus has been grown from a cell culture outside China, a "significant breakthrough" which will help combat the deadly virus which has claimed over 130 lives and infected thousands, Australian scientists said on Wednesday.
The researchers from the University of Melbourne and therefore the Royal Melbourne Hospital said the advance will allow accurate investigation and diagnosis of the virus globally.
"Chinese officials released the genome sequence of this novel coronavirus, which is useful for diagnosis, however, having the important virus means we now have the power to truly validate and verify all test methods, and compare their sensitivities and specificities — it'll be a game-changer for diagnosis," said Julian Druce from The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
"The virus are going to be used as positive control material for the Australian network of public health laboratories, and also shipped to expert laboratories working closely with the planet Health Organization (WHO) in Europe," Druce said.
Doherty Institute Deputy Director Mike Catton said the possession of an epidemic isolates extended what might be achieved with molecular technology within the fight against this virus.
The deadly coronavirus has claimed 132 lives and nearly 6,000 infection cases are reported in China.
The grown virus is predicted to be wont to generate an antibody test, which allows detection of the virus in patients who haven't displayed symptoms and were therefore unaware that they had the virus, the researchers said.
"An antibody test will enable us to retrospectively test suspected patients so we will gather a more accurate picture of how widespread the virus is, and consequently, among other things, truth deathrate ," Catton said.
"It also will assist within the assessment of effectiveness of trial vaccines," he said.
The virus was grown from a patient sample that received the Royal Melbourne Hospital's Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at the Doherty Institute on 24 January.
"We've planned for an event like this for several , a few years and that is really why we were ready to get a solution so quickly," Catton said.