Molecular epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2: A tertiary care hospital experience from Pakistan

Authors

  • Aaysha Tariq PMO/ Incharge Molecular Diagnostic Unit, Clinical Pathology Department, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Ahmad Farooq PAEC Genral Hospital, Islamabad
  • Samina Amanat Molecular Diagnostic Unit, Clinical Pathology Department, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Rehan Ahmed Siddiqui COVID-19 Emergency Cell, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad. Pakistan.
  • Humera Zafar COVID-19 Emergency Cell, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad. Pakistan.
  • Iftikhar Ahmed Molecular Diagnostic Unit, Clinical Pathology Department, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Abdul Majeed COVID-19 Emergency Cell, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad Pakistan.
  • Muhammad Juanid Khan Director, PAEC General Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Tariq Hussain Director General, PAEC Headquarters, Islamabad.

Keywords:

SARS-Cov-2, COVID-19, Pakistan, Molecular Epidemiology, Cronavirus, Pandemic

Abstract

Objectives: The current study was conducted to assess the molecular epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in the general population.

Methodology: This study was conducted from April to July 2020, at the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) General Hospital Islamabad, Pakistan. A total of 28,274 nasopharyngeal swabs were collected in Viral Transport Medium (VTM) media from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals at the sample collection centers of our hospital and other affiliated hospitals. RNA was extracted using both automated and manual extraction platforms as per the manufacturer's instructions. Multiple qualitative reverse transcription real-time PCR kits for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 were used.

Results: The results showed that 1,722 (6.09%) were positive for SARA-CoV-2 RNA. The males exhibited a prevalence of 2.76% while females showed a high prevalence of 13.44%. Among males,  most patients 424 (31.47%) were in the age group of 31-40 years followed by the age group of 41-50 years 306 (22.71%). Similarly among females, the majority of patients were from the age group 31-40 years with 91 (24.66%) followed by 41-50 years of age group 70 (18.66%) confirmed cases.

Conclusion: The molecular epidemiological data may support the national policy formulation, transmission tracking, and the execution of measures to control viral transmission.

Published

2020-11-23

Issue

Section

Original Articles