INSACOG | Coronovirus | IAS Target IAS Target


The Indian SARSCoV2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) is a government-established multi-lab organization for sequencing and analyzing genomic data associated with the SARSCoV2 virus. This article describes India's SARSCoV2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) for the IAS exam.

What is INSACOG?

  • INSACOG is a national multi-institutional consortium of Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSL) established by the Government of India in December 2020 to monitor genomic mutations in the Covid19 virus responsible for the SARSCoV2 virus.
  • Initially, the consortium consisted of 10 laboratories but has expanded to 28 laboratories.
  • RGSL is responsible for genomic sequencing and identifying variants/strains of concern, potential interest, and other variants.
The idea behind the establishment of INSACOG is to extend the whole genomic sequence of coronavirus to understand how coronavirus spreads and develops.
  • It refers to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI.
  • INSACOG is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Biotechnology (DBT), the Scientific and Industrial Research Council (CSIR), and the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR).
  • Genome sequencing is essential because it helps to understand the role of specific mutations in enhancing the virus's infectivity, immune defences, and the ability of the virus to bypass antibodies. All of these affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • INSACOG is 2020 by taking the first sample from international passengers who came to India from Brazil, the United Kingdom, South Africa, or travelled to these countries due to increased cases in these countries—started genome sequencing.
  • The network also sequenced RTPCR-positive samples from states that reported cases of sudden spikes.

The INSACOG target

  • COVID19 pandemic is having a significant impact on people's lives in India and around the world.
  • In India, it has a negative impact on the economy and the health sector.
  • Detailed sequencing and analysis of the virus's genomic data are essential to understanding how the virus develops, mutates, and spreads. With this goal in mind, INSA COG was established.
  • Sample analysis and sequencing conducted at the INSACOG laboratory can observe changes in the genetic code and viral mutations.

The goals of the INCASOG are:

  • Determine the status of the Variant of Concern (VoI) and Variant of Concern (VoC) in India.
  • Establish monitoring and monitoring mechanisms for early detection of genomic mutations and support the development of effective public health responses.
  • To determine the presence of genomic mutations in samples collected during super spreading events and in areas where increasing trends such as cases/deaths have been reported.

How does INSACOG work?

  • Samples are collected and transported from the district/security station to RGSL through the Organization of Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP).
  • The laboratory then performs genomic sequencing to identify variants of concern or interests.
  • This information is then transferred to the central monitoring unit IDSP to work with state observers to establish clinical, epidemiological correlations.
  • The Scientific and Clinical Advisory Group (SCAG) was established to support the activities of INSACOG.
  • After discussion, SCAG will ask the central monitoring unit to further investigate the VOI as needed.
  • Genome sequence analysis and clinical, epidemiological correlations generated by the IDSP will be shared with the Ministry of Health, CSIR, DBT, ICMR, and State / UT to develop and implement the necessary public health measures.
  • New mutations/mutants of concern grow in culture, and genomic studies investigate their effects on vaccine efficacy and immune defence properties.