Duke-NUS Scientists Cultured Wuhan Virus Using Infected Patient’s Clinical Sample

The infectious Wuhan virus has left many scientists scrambling to find a cure for it.

Singapore is now one step closer to that goal, according to Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS). Scientists from the university recently collaborated with other clinicians and scientists and were successful in culturing the Wuhan virus.

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Singapore is the third country outside of China to successfully replicate the virus, according to Duke-NUS.

Duke-NUS breakthrough will help Wuhan virus diagnosis

According to a statement dated 31 Jan, scientists from Duke-NUS worked closely with clinicians and scientists from,

  • SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre
  • Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
  • National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)
  • Ministry of Health (MOH).

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The scientists apparently cultured the virus using an infected patient’s clinical sample.

Using the cultured virus, scientists would now be able to develop new diagnostic methods, vaccines and cures:

…it will accelerate the assessment of trial vaccines’ effectiveness and lead to the development of early-diagnostic tests to detect the virus in asymptomatic patients,

They cultured virus can also be used to monitor any potential mutation.

Culturing Wuhan virus is a “crucial step” in curbing the outbreak

Professor Wang Linfa, director of the Duke-NUS’ Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme, said this is a “crucial step” in curbing the outbreak.

Healthy monkey kidney cells (left) died after the virus infected it (right)
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Previously, Singaporean biotech company Veredus Laboratories also announced that they were creating a test kit that would be able to detect the virus in 2 hours.

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The lab reportedly has plans to release the kits by end Mar 2020.

Hope a cure can be found soon

Kudos and congratulations to the scientists and clinicians who worked hard to culture the virus!

It is heartening that Singapore is amongst the countries at the forefront of finding a new way to tackle the virus.

We hope the scientists in Singapore will be able to make a breakthrough, further entrenching our position as one of the leading medical hubs in the world.

Featured image adapted from Mcat.