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Source: ESR

ESR genome sequencing shows its worth in the investigation of the health care worker at a quarantine facility.

In seven hours over the weekend, ESR staff were able to sequence the genome of the health care worker at Auckland’s quarantine facility Jet Park. ESR results indicated the case was associated with the B.1.1.1 genome and is genomically linked to three cases that have been in the quarantine facility, that are linked to the Auckland cluster.

The Ministry of Health indicated that this evidence reinforces exposure at Jet Park being the most likely route of transmission and the Public Health Unit continues to investigate exactly how the infection occurred.

ESR’s bioinformatics lead Dr Joep de Ligt says the data helps focus investigations on the most relevant areas.

“The sequencing assists the Public Health Unit and the Ministry of Health in their investigation to determine if the infection came from the community or from within the quarantine facility. Genomics is just one piece of that puzzle, but the team were quick to make sure we had this intelligence ready.

We are one part of the investigation and a lot of great work is done before and after sequencing, but it shows just how useful this data can be and how quickly we can respond to provide intelligence when and where it is needed.”