STOCKHOLM, Feb. 10, 2021 -- MGI Tech Co., Ltd. ("MGI")'s high-throughput gene sequencer has helped the regions throughout Sweden greatly improve their COVID-19 testing capabilities from the laboratory at the National Pandemic Center located in Karolinska Institute (KI). Sweden's STV News, the national public television, recently reports that only one percent (1%) of the positive COVID-19 samples have been currently sequenced in Sweden and main regions in the country have been commissioned to increase the figure to ten percent (10%). The KI laboratory is one of the few highly specialized laboratories in Sweden that can perform whole-genome sequencing and COVID-19 monitoring. The high-throughput gene sequencers and automation system used in this laboratory are from MGI.
In March 2020, KI and MGI jointly announced the establishment of a 10,000-person multi-omics laboratory for COVID-19 testing in Stockholm. The lab is equipped with MGI's high-throughput automated virus nucleic acid extraction equipment MGISP-960 and ultra-high-throughput gene sequencer DNBSEQ-T7, helping Sweden identify the variants quickly and accurately to provide the complete viral genome sequence information, while doubling the local COVID-19 testing capacity.
The head of the National Pandemic Center, Dr. Jessica Alm, notes "the super sequencer flown in from China, boasts a sequencing throughput eight (8) times more than other sequencers." Professor Lars Engstrand from KI says that, “our current focus is on monitoring the UK’s COVID-19 mutations, but the attention is also being paid to other mutations that may occur. At the same time, as Sweden has now rolled out its vaccination program, we also need to track those strains that may not be sensitive to the vaccine.”
Professor Engstrand also notes that “high-throughput sequencing enables us the access to the full sequence of a virus, and we can identify mutations accurately, and trace and monitor the virus. Through sequencing of the host (human) of a virus in multi-omics dimensions, it can also help us better understand the pathogenesis and provide an important reference for clinical diagnosis and vaccine development.” He adds, “For sudden outbreaks of novel infectious diseases of an unknown origin, high-throughput sequencing, as a mature genetic testing technology, has achieved a good balance in terms of accuracy, comprehensiveness, cycle time, throughput, availability, and cost, and has become a fundamental tool for relevant scientific research.”