Bhubaneswar: In a significant scientific development that can help in drug formulations for COVID-19, the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), here has successfully established in vitro cultures of coronavirus from the patient samples using vero cells.
The ILS has established 17 virus cultures from swab samples originating from different parts of the country with varying virus loads. The vero cell culture technology is used worldwide to develop inactivated whole cell-based vaccines.
These virus cultures have been established by the ILS team led by scientists Dr. Soma Chattopadhyay and Dr. Gulam H. Syed following international protocols and all safety precautions in the BSL 3 facility, according to an ILS release.
“It is a significant development as only three other laboratories from India have reported establishing virus cultures till date,” Dr. Ajay Parida, Director, ILS said.
This has potential application in testing and screening for possible drug targets, formulations as well as possible use in vaccine development. Cultured SARS-CoV-2 can also be used in developing antibodies or anti-dotes, testing of antibodies and identification of effective therapeutic agents.
Dr. Parida expressed confidence that this will be a useful resource for the country in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic as well as for future preparedness.
ILS has been supporting the Odisha government in augmenting testing for COVID-19 since April and has tested around 45,000 samples from 26 districts.