The city of Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian Province, which witnessed the country's latest resurgence of COVID-19 cluster infections, cleared all medium- and high-risk areas for COVID-19 on Oct. 8. according to Xiamen Daily. As of October 10, Xiamen CDC has processed more than 875,000 tubes nucleic acid tests and achieved zero increase in a very short time. This achievement is attributable to the hard work of local healthcare workers, as well as a series of advanced automation systems and high-throughput gene sequencers used in this combat.
MGI DNBSEQ platforms provide scientific basis for virus transmission chain
High-throughput sequencing can complement the RT-PCR method in the identification and diagnosis of new coronaviruses, which can not only improve the positive detection rate, but also identify co-infection pathogens and provide more information about the pathogens of possible infections. Importantly, it can assemble the virus sequences to obtain the whole genomic information of the virus, providing a research basis to trace the source of the virus, monitor the trend of virus mutations, and understand the pathogenic mechanism.
According to Xiamen Daily on October 12, while completing the large-scale COVID-19 testing, the local government also performed genetic sequencing on imported cases such as the first or early local cases, and quickly carried out virus comparison and transmission chain identification. Rapid virus genome sequencing can identify the source of infection and provide strong support for epidemiological investigation and virus origin tracing.
As one of the three companies in two countries worldwide with the ability to mass-produce clinical high-throughput sequencers, MGI's proprietary DNBSEQ-G50* Genetic Sequencer has provided instrumental support for the COVID-19 control and prevention during the Xiamen outbreak.
DNBSEQ-G50 Genetic Sequencer* in Xiamen CDC
DNBSEQ-G50* is a compact and flexible benchtop genetic sequencer. With the design of two different Flow Cells, it empowers flexibility and creates an ideal balance between speed and affordability. FCS (Flow Cell Small) allows short turnaround time for STAT samples, while FCL (Flow Cell Large) enables lower cost per sample. DNBSEQ-G50* offers 3~4 read length options for both FCS and FCL and supports single-end/paired-end sequencing. It can produce 10～150 GB per run to accommodate different applications, throughput needs and budgets.
With the flexibility and stability features, DNBSEQ-G50* can provide reliable data for COVID-19 control and prevention. Previously, DNBSEQ-G50* supported Jinan CDC (Shandong) to sequence the whole genome of the cold-chain novel coronavirus strain and Foshan CDC to successfully build its first normalized municipal epidemic prevention platform in 2020. MGI sequencing platforms also contributed to the quick virus tracing in Hebei, Guangdong, and Heilongjiang, which have provided valuable experience for the COVID-19 pandemic control in Xiamen.
In addition to DNBSEQ-G50, MGI also quickly delivered three small portable DNBSEQ sequencers to Xiamen CDC, which are easy to operate and specially designed for emergency on-site sequencing. Combined with MGI ATOPlex ultra-high multiplex platform, MGI's one-stop sequencing platform shortens the whole genome sequencing and tracing process of coronavirus to about 14 hours.