In just one year, LuxMicroBiobank has collected more than 15,000 positive samples of the covid-19 virus. There were nearly 17,000 in mid-May at this biobank, located at the National Health Laboratory (LNS) and launched in May 2020.
This storage of samples facilitates better understanding of the virus, either through sequencing or viral culture, which allows "for effective characterisation, surveillance, and the timely development of medical interventions, notably diagnostics and therapeutics”, as Tamir Abdelrahman, LNS’ head of the microbiology department, explains.
The sequencing of positive tests makes it possible in particular to identify the variants of covid-19 and to assess their presence in the country. In the last LNS report, covering 3-9 May, the sequencing coverage of the population was 52.6%, clearly higher than the optimal rate of 10% recommended by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to have representative sampling.
The British variant was present in 81.1% of cases, much more than the South African (6.8%) and Brazilian (4.5%) variants.
While Luxembourg was among the European champions in sequencing fairly early on, the number of positive samples transmitted by the laboratories carrying out the tests has continued to increase in recent months.
This article was originally published on Paperjam and has been translated and edited for Delano.