APL sequences Monkeypox Virus
An outbreak of monkeypox is a global health concern. Canada, most recently, reported 210 confirmed cases of the virus.
Like all viruses, monkeypox has a specific genetic structure; monitoring for variants helps scientists understand its viral evolution and the potential for adversely affecting human health.
Using genome sequencing equipment acquired at the onset of SARS-CoV-2, Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) was the first to share a monkeypox virus genome sequence from Canada with international databases NCBI
. Rapid access to viral genome sequences is critical for researchers and health authorities to monitor spread and manage public health interventions.
In this two-part series, freelance broadcaster Don Hill spoke with scientists from APL’s genomics and bioinformatics teams.
Dr. Matthew Croxen and Dr. Tarah Lynch talk about viral sequencing, monitoring and Alberta's expanded genome sequencing capacity.
) Monkeypox virus Program Lead Dr. Jamil Kanji discusses the significance of sequencing the monkeypox virus and the enhanced capabilities APL now has to detect other infectious diseases of concern.
Genome Alberta, through the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network
, continues to support and fund the expansion of genome sequencing capacity in Alberta. In addition, bioinformatics tools and workflows that helped generate the monkeypox virus genome sequence arose from a project funded by Genome Alberta, Alberta Innovates, Genome Canada, and the Government of Alberta.
(Image above: Alberta Precision Laboratories’ specialized diagnostics team analyzes viral sequencing data. Courtesy of Alberta Precision Laboratories)