Polish scientists isolate coronavirus from patient zero sample

"This type of research is very important in tracking the development of the epidemic and has great scientific value," NIZP-PZH Director Grzegorz Juszczyk has told PAP. Mateusz Marek/PAP

Polish scientists have isolated and characterised the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a sample taken from the first person diagnosed with coronavirus infection in Poland.

The research has been carried out by a team of scientists from the Małopolskie Centre of Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University in cooperation with the National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene (NIZP-PZH) in Warsaw.

Studies to isolate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from subsequent patients are in progress.

"This type of research is very important in tracking the development of the epidemic and has great scientific value," NIZP-PZH Director Grzegorz Juszczyk has told PAP.

Juszczyk added that characteristics of the virus strains appearing in Poland will allow the tracking of the spread of the epidemic and identification of virus changes over time, as well as provide the possibility to quickly respond to such changes.

The director said that the observation of changes can be important in the development of drugs, treatment regimes and the diagnosis of infections.

"Isolating the virus will also allow better understanding of its biology," said Juszczyk. He announced that the genome sequence would be available in public databases in the near future.