A team at Norwich Research Park, who normally look after the safe storage of human tissue such as blood, saliva, stools, and tissue in state-of-the-art freezers for analysis by researchers at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), University of East Anglia (UEA) and Quadram Institute, has played a key role recently in discovering the source of Covid-19 outbreaks.
The NRP Biorepository team, based at the Bob Champion building, has turned its attention to processing data, enabling researchers to identify the virus genetic code and therefore which strains caused the infection and where they originated.
Dr. Rachael Stanley, who manages the Biorepository for NNUH, said: “Tracing the source of infection is vital for containment. In a hospital or care home, you need to know whether patients or residents are infecting each other or if the virus was brought in from outside.
“Just like humans, viruses have genes and, because they mutate, taking samples during an outbreak shows where people caught it. This is vital information that informs Public Health England and helps to determine Government decision-making.”
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