UNSA Veterinary Faculty research team in cooperation with ANUBiH isolated Bosnian COVID-19 strain

Naučnoistraživački tim Veterinarskog fakulteta UNSA

In the Molecular Genetic and Forensic Research Laboratory at the UNSA Faculty of Veterinary Medicine the first Bosnian strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus was isolated from clinical samples of people infected with COVID-19. This, for the science of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a whole big and very important step, made by the own funds of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sarajevo represents a concrete contribution of domestic intelligence, inventiveness and knowledge to world efforts to clarify the nature and origin of the virus.

Possession of one’s own strain of the virus is also the starting point for numerous multidisciplinary research and projects, both scientific research and applied, domestic and international. It is especially important to point out that most of the work on virus isolation, under the supervision of the head of the Laboratory, Prof. Dr. Teufik Goletić, made by a young scientific research team, predominantly consisting of doctoral students at “Veterinary Medicine and Public Health” organized by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sarajevo.

The Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, represented by academician Prof. Dr. Mirsad Hukić and eminent microbiologists, clinicians, geneticists and epidemiologists from a number of institutions from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina contributed.

It is important to note that this significant step is part of a broader study involving other BiH institutions, which should result in the establishment of genetic sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus strain present in the BiH population.

To complete the mentioned study - molecular characterization, i.e. sequencing of the genome of the isolated Bosnian strain of COVID-19 virus and viral genomes from clinical samples, which would, among other things, provide answers to questions of virus entry routes, degree and type of mutations, but also adequacy and suitability of PCR-based diagnostic tests require the support of relevant ministries. In this regard, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Sarajevo expresses its gratitude for the interest and commitment expressed by the Federal Ministry of Health and especially the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UNDP Response Support Program to COVID-19 in BiH.