BGI Develops Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR kit for detecting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Press Release, January 23, Shenzhen, China
As widely reported in the media, a new coronavirus has been identified in China, which has been given the name “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.” Building on BGI’s history of developing solutions for rapid pathogen detection, BGI has developed a real-time fluorescent RT-PCR kit for detecting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The kits have already been issued to many hospitals and disease control centers.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses, circulating mainly among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as seen with MERS and SARS. 2019-nCoV is a new strain of virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
As of 24:00on January 22(GMT+8), a cumulative total of 571 cases with 17 deaths caused by new coronavirus have been reported in China. Cases have also been reported in 6 other countries, including Thailand (2),Japan (1), the Republic of Korea (1), Australia (1), United States (1) and Singapore (7).
In response to this situation, and immediately after the occurrence of unexplained pneumonia on December 31, 2019,BGI successfully developed a Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR kit for detecting 2019-nCoV, which can issue results in a few hours.
BGI has been working with relevant Chinese authorities including the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, through which the kits have been issued to various hospitals and local disease control centers. BGI is also engaged with relevant organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Brunei Ministry of Health, the Thailand ministry of public health, the National Medical Research Center of Nigeria (NIMR), the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of the National Health Laboratory of South Africa (NICD), to supply the test kits and offer additional pathogen detection solutions using next generation sequencing technology. Further, alarge number of kits are being urgently sent around the world to cope with the mass migration of people during the Chinese New Year.
The development of the 2019-nCoV detection kit builds upon BGI’s previous experience developing rapid diagnostic solutions for pathogen detection. For example, in April 2003, BGI successfully sequenced the SARS virus in less than 20 hours, and developed an enzyme immunoassay test kit in 96 hours. In 2011, BGI successfully developed a diagnostic kit for the Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia Coli (EHEC) epidemic that broke out in Germany. All scientific data and information was made available to the international community, laying an important scientific foundation to control the epidemic.
Founded in 1999, BGI is one of the world’s leading life science and genomics organizations. BGI’s mission is to use genomics to benefit mankind and to be a leader in the era of life sciences. BGI follows a genomics development model of “research, production and application”. With businesses in more than 100 countries and regions around the world, BGI has established cooperation and partnerships with thousands of different organizations across multi-disciplinary research areas including medical health, resource conservation and judicial services. At the same time, BGI provides equipment, technical support and solutions for the needs of national economies and people’s livelihoods, such as precision medicine and precision health. BGI is committed to applying its genetic and technological achievements to real world settings in order to realize the dream of trans-omics for a better life.
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