The Armauer Hansen Research Institute runs the first Whole Genome Sequencing in Ethiopia!
The most widely applicable laboratory research tools at AHRI have been immunology and molecular biology. However, with the world moving towards the era of genomics and bioinformatics research and the relevance of this tool in various areas of life sciences including medical research has compelled us to establish genomics and bioinformatics facility and capability. Accordingly, AHRI has been working hard for the past four years to establish the laboratory facility and attract the required technical staff that are experienced in DNA sequencing and Bioinformatics analyses. The equipment installed include mechanical homogenizer (bead beater), DNA fragmentor (Covaris), Qubit 4 fluorometer, E-gel system, Bioanalyzer, qPCR, DNA sequencer, server and high performance computers that are required for the wet lab (DNA extraction, Quality check, library preparation and sequencing) and dry lab (bioinformatics analyses). This effort is made possible through financial and technical support from partners, mainly from the Ministry of Health, NORAD, Sida, the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the African Academy of Sciences/AESA (through the TBGEN project).
Following the installation of the equipment and recruitment of experienced staff (most of them through the TBGEN project), AHRI runs the first DNA whole genome sequencing on five Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates and performed bioinformatics analysis.
Currently Genomics and Bioinformatics are being used in different fields of Microbial genome and human genetic applications such as in organ transplantation, pharmacogenomics, antibiotic resistance, evolutionary studies, forensic analysis, paternity testing, as well as in the development of diagnostics, drug and vaccine and more. The capacity built at AHRI will enable us to use sequencing and bioinformatics tools for clinical service and research in the country.
Some pictures from the equipment Installation, training and the first sequencing run (See below some pictorial examples of DNA sequencing and bioinformatics analyses outputs).