Corona genome sequencing: Portal for free data analysis launched

A central German start-up company has launched a portal for the free analysis and processing of raw data from the genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates.

28.01.2021 · Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Engineering · Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology · News · Research result · Projects

The central German start-up company "nanozoo" – a member of the InfectoGnostics research campus in Jena – has launched a portal for the free analysis and processing of raw data from the genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Within a few hours, the data of registered users will be processed and made available. The resulting genome sequences are checked against the quality metrics defined by the Robert Koch Institute, which provide information on whether a data set meets the quality standards for submission to the federal institute.

The young start-up company "nanozoo " from Leipzig will go live on 28 January with the portal, which supports laboratories in processing raw data from "MinION" genome sequencing. With a subsequent update, "Illumina" data can also be analysed. For raw data from sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 samples, the service is provided free of charge for registered users from Germany. "For us, this is an opportunity to stress test our newly developed portal and at the same time contribute to the fight against the Corona pandemic. For the laboratories, on the other hand, an otherwise very time-consuming, manual step to a usable result is eliminated," explains Dr. Christian Brandt, molecular biologist at the Institute for Infectious Medicine and Hospital Hygiene at the Jena University Hospital and one of the three company founders.

The complete analysis and processing of the raw data takes – depending on the size of the data set – only between 30 minutes and a few hours. The data continues to belong completely to the submitting users and can then be transmitted independently to the RKI. Due to the danger of unrecognised corona mutations, on 18 January the German government called for the submission of genome sequence data from patient samples that had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and offered a payment of 220 euros per sequencing if the genome quality was good enough. For this purpose, nanozoo has also integrated a quality metric into the portal that provides information on whether the data meet the RKI quality standards and are suitable for transmission.

In addition, the three entrepreneurs, together with other partners from Berlin, Jena and Bad Langensalza, were involved in a current, pre-published study in which the SARS-CoV-2 genome from Thuringian samples was compared with virus lines spread in Germany, Europe and worldwide.

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