New Delhi, Apr 26: A number of scientists of Indian origin are in the frontline of global research against the deadly novel Coronavirus that has already engulfed the entire humanity in an unprecedented pandemic leading to the death of over two lakh people and inflicting more than two million.
Dr SS Vasan, a senior virologist of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), has been leading the Dangerous Pathogen Team in Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), the famed virology research centre of the world which has made several major breakthroughs in the past. According to Rhodes Trust of the University of Oxford, Dr Vasan and his team are the first outside China to grow sufficient stock of the virus for preclinical research and the first time in the globe to show that the ferrets are susceptible.
The CSIRO team has also developed genome sequencing (gen mapping) to seamlessly analyse global data related to the virus. CSIRO is already testing the COVID-19 vaccine candidates for efficacy. “We are also evaluating the best way to give the vaccine for better protection, including an intramuscular injection versus nasal spray,” it stated. Another Indian origin professor from the University of Oxford, Prof Sunetra Gupta has been spearheading a Covid-19 study in the UK to analyze the characteristic of virus.
The study, which is based on assumptions about the most likely characteristics of the pandemic, is stated to be under peer review. The assumptions model, it is said, will help decoding the immunity related riddles arising out of this novel pandemic. Prof Gupta was one of the first to push for the need for immediate largescale serological surveyantibody testing- to assess the stage and scale of the pandemic particularly with reference to the UK.
The Oxford Study is based on what is known as a “susceptibility-infected-recovered model’ of Covid-19. Dr Gupta and her team advocated what they thought most plausible assumption about the behavior of the virus. Google scholar, Dr Arinjay Banerjee has been part of a team of very high profile Sunnybrook Research Institute, Canada which has already managed to isolate the virus, responsible for the outbreak. Dr Banerjee, who is a postdoctoral researcher at McMaster University, with research interests in innate immunology, virology, emerging infections, molecular biology etc has already published a number of highly appreciated papers on the outbreaks of SERS, MERS and Covid-19. (UNI)