Over 5K samples in store, one of world’s largest Covid bio-banks set up at Faridabad

Over 5K samples in store, one of world’s largest Covid bio-banks set up at Faridabad

Photo for representational purpose only

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11

Indian scientists have built one of the world’s largest Covid-19 bio-banks storing over 5,000 samples from SARS-CoV2 patients to support understanding of the disease and help domestic and global research on wide-ranging aspects of Covid.

Aiding research

  • The bank has been created at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad
  • It has over 5,000 samples collected from SARS-CoV2 patients
  • The aim is to help domestic and global research on wide-ranging aspects of Covid-19

Antibody response

100% severe Covid patients developed antibodies

80% was the proportion in case of moderate infection

30% of those asymptomatic had antibodies

5th day: Over 40,000 cases, states warned

41,506 fresh cases

TOTAL DEATHS 4,08,040

ACTIVE CASES 4,54,118

895 deaths in 24 hours

Expert view

Bio-repositories, combined with metadata, can help answer many questions about Covid. - S Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist

The samples have been stored under the highest biosafety levels at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, an autonomous institution with leading capacities in clinical research and product development.

Based on the massive bio-repository of Covid samples it has, the Department of Biotechnology Institute, THSTI, has also launched a major longitudinal study to understand the immune and antibody response among patients, the causes behind disease severity, the scale of re-infection and “long Covid” conditions among those infected.

The study will be conducted at different times—at three weeks, 6-8 weeks, six months and one year.

The THSTI scientists, led by Director Shinjini Bhatnagar, recently published a study on antibody response among Covid-19 patients. They found that everybody inflicted with severe Covid had developed antibodies, but the proportion was 80 per cent for those with moderate disease and 30 per cent for those with mild and asymptomatic disease. With the passage of time, antibody levels declined further.

The storage of bio-samples happened over the entire period of the epidemic with the THSTI collaborating for the project with Faridabad ESI Hospital, Gurugram Civil Hospital, Palwal District Hospital and Delhi’s Maulana Azad Hospital.

All bio-samples were taken after informed consent of patients and approval from ethics committees.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Sunday hailed the THSTI’s effort at creating the massive bio-repository of samples from Covid patients. She said, “Bio-repositories, combined with metadata, can help answer many questions about Covid-19.”

The THSTI bio-repository was created under a Biotechnology Department initiative last year to understand the epidemiology of the disease, how immune responses develop in different patients and how the samples can be used to augment diagnostic.

The samples, kept at minus 80°C under advanced refrigeration, can be stored for up to 10 years and made available to academics and the industry for Covid-19 research.

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