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MGI ATOPlex Technology Contributes to the Discovery of the First Case of COVID-19 Omicron Variant in Sweden

Release date:2021-11-30Writer:MGIViews:285Share

The newly discovered COVID-19 omicron variant (B.1.1.529), first identified in Botswana and South Africa, has recently spread rapidly to multiple countries around the world posing serious challenges to the global pandemic monitoring system. In Skåne county Sweden, the first case of the omicron variant was detected in a sample collected from a citizen who had returned from South Africa, reported the countries Public Health Agency on November 29, 2021.


The National Pandemic Center (NPC) at Karolinska Institutet discovered the first case of COVID-19 Omicron variant in Sweden based on MGI ATOPlex technology.

Omicron is the most heavily mutated version of the COVID-19 variants so far and has a long list of mutations that it is likely to be more transmissible. As Omicron has been designated a variant of concern, there are several actions WHO recommends countries to undertake, including enhancing surveillance and sequencing of cases; sharing genome sequences on publicly available databases such as GISAID; reporting initial cases or clusters to WHO; performing field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand if omicron has different transmission or disease characteristics, or impacts effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics or public health and social measures.



Empowered by its multiplex PCR technology, MGI's proprietary ATOPlex ultra-high multiplex platform provides effective whole-genome sequencing, surveillance, and monitoring of the new Omicron variant in Sweden, providing a powerful support tool for new strain monitoring.


One case of the Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in Sweden


ATOPlex technology provides instrumental support for global pandemic surveillance.

According to the data analysis results, it is confirmed that the library prep reagent produced on ATOPlex platform (High-throughput sequencing V1.1/V2.0/V3.0) can effectively monitor the Omicron variant. MGI has been conducting mutation detection and analysis for enhanced detection performance on the ATOPlex platform, contributing to global pandemic surveillance.


Not only can the ATOPlex platform classify and monitor new COVID variants including Omicron but can also enable personalized and customized panels for targeted surveillance of pathogenic microorganisms. ATOPlex covers DNA, RNA, and DNA methylation in sequencing in multiple fields such as medicine, food safety, agriculture, direct to customer (DTC), and more.


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