Biolab research scientists identify how COVID-19 spreads in Jordan and the Middle East and publish it in a high-impact journal
Biolab Medical Laboratory recently published a research article on Coronavirus epidemiology in one of the most prestigious scientific journals worldwide, known as Nature communications, in collaboration with the Scripps Research Center in the United States of America.
Dr. Issa Abu-Dayyeh, head of the research and development department at Biolab, reported that the main purpose behind this work was to comprehensively analyze the full genomic sequences of coronaviruses isolated in Jordan starting from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to the end of the second wave in May 2021. The genomic data was analyzed hand in hand with epidemiological and travel data to understand the sources and mechanisms of entry and exit of the virus into and out of the Kingdom and to better appreciate the role of Jordan as an importer and exporter of the virus to the broader Middle East during the different phases of the pandemic.
Dr. Abu-Dayyeh explained that upon conducting advanced epidemiological analyses of the data, it became clear to us that the strong regional connectivity of the Middle East drove both introduction risk and export risk of the virus, especially in the period between March and September 2020, in which all air travel was banned. Furthermore, he pointed out that land travel, especially freight transport, was a big culprit for introducing new strains of the virus into the country during the mentioned period.
For his part, Dr. Amid Abdelnour, the founder, and CEO of Biolab Medical Laboratory praised this well-deserved national achievement, which puts research and scientific publishing in Jordan side by side with the most productive in the field.
Dr. Abdelnour elucidated that the importance of this work lies not only in making up for the scarcity of genetic sequences available from the Middle East but also in its ability to send an essential message to the world, namely that travel restrictions centered solely around air travel are not enough to effectively curb the virus. Land-based travel risk should be strategically accounted for, especially in a country as interconnected as Jordan.
Dr. Amid Abdelnour emphasized that building and maintaining local testing capacity is critical to COVID-19 and other public health threats.
BIOLAB is characterized by being accredited by five international accreditation bodies for quality assurance, namely the accreditation of the American College of Pathology CAP and the Joint Commission International JCI, the ISO15189 certification provided by the Jordanian accreditation system JAS for Distinguished Health Services, the accreditation of the Council for Accreditation of Health Institutions HCAC, and the certificate of the International Information Security Standard "ISO" 27001.