The CSIC is promoting a project to predict the evolution of COVID-19

Hospitals throughout Spain will compare the genomes of the new coronavirus of infected patients to understand and predict the evolution and epidemiology of the virus, in an "ambitious scientific project" promoted by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

The study, financed with 740,000 euros and led by Valencian institutions, will be carried out based on myobiological data from 40 hospitals across the country.

The research also aims to provide information to public health authorities and the data will be deposited in public repositories and is integrated into the Global Health platform launched by the CSIC to address the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus from the investigation.

"This project will allow us to incorporate genomic epidemiology as a tool to understand the course of the epidemic, how it originated and how it is evolving in time and space", explains one of the researchers who lead the work Iñaki Comas, from the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia.

In addition, "it poses the challenge of generating results that serve to inform public health authorities," Comas said in a statement from the CSIC.

The professor at the University of Valencia and also responsible for the project, Fernando González, has highlighted the geographic scale of the project, which covers hospitals throughout Spain.

"Although there is a general affectation by COVID-19, the reality is that each autonomous community is in a different epidemic phase and, therefore," he says, "the medium-term solutions must be different."

González is a researcher at the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), which also leads the study, with the collaboration of the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research (FISABIO) of the Generalitat Valenciana.

Both researchers, specialists in genomic epidemiology, highlight the power of combining data from various disciplines of genetics and epidemiology.

"Genomic epidemiology will represent infectious diseases in the 21st century what vaccines in the 19th century or antibiotics in the 20th century represented," adds Comas in the note.

The project is financed, among others, by the CSIC's Interdisciplinary Global Health Thematic Platform, whose vice president, Jesús Marco, stresses that one of the keys to this is "having a global vision that allows linking all aspects of the pandemic" .


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