The first whole genome sequence of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from Bangladesh was unveiled today, 12 May 2020. It was sequenced at the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF). The COVID-19 sequencing team is led by Scientist Dr. Senjuti Saha, who uploaded the sequencing data to GISAID to share with the scientific community on behalf of the organization. It must be noted that the entire work was conducted at the CHRF laboratory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Sequencing RNA viruses is particularly challenging as growing the virus is difficult and requires extensive safety procedures. Therefore, we used a technique called RNA metagenomic sequencing to sequence the viral RNA directly from a sample after completely deactivating all viral particles. We aim to sequence more samples from different locations of Bangladesh to better understand the spread and transmission patterns of COVID-19 in this country.
We are thankful to the Directorate General of Health Services of Bangladesh Government, IEDCR, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub/Initiative for their extended cooperation and intellectual guidance in successful completion of this work.