Press Release N°65/2021 A sequence attributable to the Omicron variant has been identified by the Italian network
ISS, November 27th 2021 -
As part of the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing activities of the network coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità – ISS (Italian National Institute of Health), a sequence was identified in the ICoGen platform attributable to what is now known as variant of concern (VOC) and defined yesterday by WHO as "Omicron". The sample is in the process of further confirmation in order to definitively assign the lineage which, for this VOC, is B.1.1.529. The rapid identification of the new sequence and hence immediate contact tracing was possible thanks to the presence of alerts on the ICogen platform which promptly recognized the presence of some key mutations, demonstrating the efficiency of the Italian sequencing network and the rapidity and efficiency of the work done by the ASST FBF – Sacco laboratory.
The genome was sequenced at the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Virology and Bioemergency Diagnostics of the Sacco Hospital in Milan from a positive sample of an individual from Mozambique. The patient and his family contacts are in good health.
The epidemiological investigations were carried out by ATS Milano and by the competent ASL of the Campania Region. Sequencing has already been planned on samples of the patient's family contacts who were positive and who live in the Campania Region where the laboratories have been alerted and are already working to obtain genomic results in a short time. At the moment no positive contacts have been identified in Lombardy.
Yesterday the Ministry of Health had already issued an information note to the Regions / Autonomous Provinces following a coordinated meeting with the ISS to step up the contact tracing methods.
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