Department of Biology IPB University, There are 9 COVID-19 Genomes in Indonesia, Japan 130 Genomes

As of May 21, 2019, new cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia increased by 973 cases with the number of patients recovering by more than 4,500 patients. It seems that COVID-19 is still a global problem that continues to look for ways to combat it. Therefore, every country launches a variety of ways, one of which is to increase research on this new virus. The Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA) held a webinar that discussed the latest research conducted by the two affected countries, namely Japan and Indonesia.

Inviting Dr. Rika Indri Astuti, microbiology lecturer at the Department of Biology, IPB University and I Ketut Gunarta, assistant professor at Kanazawa University Japan (22/5), this event was organized by the Japan Alumni Association (PERSADA) Bogor Branch and the Indonesian Biology Association in collaboration with the Department of Biology IPB University.More than 16 thousand cases were recorded in Japan with a cure rate of 12 thousand patients. Since February 2020, Japan has poured funds of 2.03 billion yen for COVID-19 research, while in Indonesia budgeted funds of 90 billion rupiah. These funds are allocated for research into diagnostic methods, drugs and vaccines.

The diagnostic method that is widely used in Japan is RT-LAMP. RT-LAMP itself is a modification of PCR. The advantage of this tool is the high speed and accuracy. The kit from RT-LAMP has been marketed but is still at a high price level. Gunarta said if this kit could be developed in Indonesia it would be very good because it only needed a heater to run the tool.

After the diagnostic method is done, of course, drugs are needed for the patients. Remdesivir has been the standard treatment for COVID-19 in several countries, one of which is Japan. In Indonesia, it was analyzed about the effectiveness of Remdesivir for COVID-19 patients, but it is still unknown how massive the use of this drug is in Indonesia. According to Dr. Rika, since it was first identified, the COVID-19 virus has changed or mutated. For this reason, we need data on the development of this virus so that we can know the potential of what will happen in the future as well to find the best vaccine or drug in the fight against the virus.

However, he continued, mutations do not always have to be feared. Because mutations in this virus are more conservative, where the amino acids that change are not very influential. "Speaking of data, Indonesia has donated as many as nine complete genomes from the COVID-19 virus, where Japan has registered 130 complete genomes in GISAID - a bank related to genome sequences," he said.

At present, both Japan and Indonesia are focusing on dealing with the corona pandemic in the short and long term. Where the development of artificial kits and clinical trials is a short-term goal and developing methods of diagnosis and finding drugs and vaccines is a long-term goal. (IAAS / NAS)

Published Date : 22-May-2020

Resource Person : Dr Rika

Keyword : COVID-19, Japan, Indonesia, RT-LAMP, IPB University