Researchers from Ochsner and local lab BioInfoExperts have sequenced the genetic code of samples from their COVID-19 patients to learn more about the virus’s spread in Louisiana and how it continues to evolve. New Orleans has not only some of the highest per-capita rates of COVID-19 infection, but also a high rate of underlying health illness in the population – including conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
To date, the team has noted a close relationship with genome sequences from the northwest U.S., highlighting the role of travel in spreading the pathogen. They’re also investigating microbial markers that might indicate which patients will progress to a more critical disease. Understanding these might lead to precision therapies or improved testing strategies.
Learn more about the team’s work from Ochsner.