The genomic sequencing will be used to detect new mutations in, and patterns of transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Diagnostic information services provider Quest Diagnostics has signed an agreement with the US federal agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the sequencing of Covid-19 gene variants.
The genomic sequencing will be used to detect new mutations in, and patterns of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19.
Under the deal, Quest will support CDC in carrying out a large-scale longitudinal genomic survey of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using a random set of samples collected from its labs across the US.
Quest will conduct sequencing at San Juan Capistrano diagnostics laboratory
The firm will conduct the sequencing from its advanced diagnostics laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Quest stated that it will sequence the viral genomes of random de-identified samples, which test positive in the course of offering molecular diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 for providers and patients.
The company will also offer complete whole viral sequences to CDC. These data will be integrated with the results of other data offered to the CDC by national, state, academic, and commercial labs to help meet the CDC survey’s aspirations.
The CDC’s survey is expected to deliver significant baseline information for national and state-level surveillance to define changes in transmission, detect new variants of the virus and improve the public health response to the virus.
Quest Diagnostics senior vice president and chief medical officer Dr Jay Wohlgemuth said: “Quest has the expertise in genomics and infectious diseases, as well as extensive Covid-19 testing data and access to patient samples.
“Our program will complement and extend the efforts of the CDC to discover and track new virus mutations and thereby improve public health response to the pandemic.”
In December 2020, Quest Diagnostics secured the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorisation for RC Covid-19 +Flu RT-PCR Test for prescription use with the company’s self-collection Kit to detect both Covid-19 and Flu.