A team of Indian scientists is working on genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 around the world to identify genetic variability and potential molecular targets in the virus and humans to find the best possible answer to combat Covid-19.

The study was published on the official website of the Ministry of Science and Technology, India. The study is sponsored by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Dr Indrajit Saha, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Kolkata, and his team have developed a web-based COVID-Predictor to predict the sequence of viruses online.

This will be based on machine learning and will analyse 566 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes to find the genetic variability in terms of point mutation and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).

Mutation similarity

The scientists are on track to identify the genetic variability in SARS-CoV-2 genomes around the globe, including India. They have computed the mutation similarity in sequences of different countries. The results show that the US, England, and India are the top three countries having the geometric mean, 3.27 per cent, 3.59 per cent, and 5.39 per cent, respectively, of mutation similarity score with 72 other countries.

The scientists have also developed a web application for searching the mutation points in SARS-CoV-2 genomes globally and country-wise. Besides, they are now working more towards protein-protein interactions, epitopes discovery, and virus miRNA prediction.