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Glossary of less known terms used in this course

Glossary of less known terms used in this course

  • Amino acids: the subunit molecules that form proteins
  • Antibody: a protein produced by the host immune system that recognises an antigen and triggers a immune response
  • Antigen: a molecule or particle that can trigger an immune response
  • COVID-19: coronavirus disease 2019
  • cDNA: complementary DNA, a DNA molecule synthesised from a RNA template molecule
  • CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in the United States
  • Cladogram: it is a graphic representation of ancestry relationship between organisms
  • Codon: a group of three nucleotides that encode an amino acid
  • DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid, an information molecule forming the “base code” for a living organism
  • ECDC: European Centre for Diseases Prevention Control
  • Endemic: it refers to a disease that is prevalent in or restricted to a particular location, region, or population
  • Epidemic: it is an increase in the expected number of cases of a disease in a particular population and area
  • Immune response: a reaction from the organism to defend itself against a threat
  • mRNA: messenger RNA, the template for protein production
  • NGS: next-generation sequencing, a high throughput sequencing methodology
  • Nucleotides: the subunit molecules that form DNA and RNA molecules
  • Outbreak: it is a sudden increase in the expected number of cases of a disease in a limited area
  • Pandemic: it refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affection a large number of people
  • Pathogen: a microorganism or infectious agent that can cause disease e.g virus, bacterium, protozoan, prion or fungus
  • PCR: Polymerase Chain Reaction, a technique to amplify DNA molecules
  • Phylogenetic tree: is a graphic representation of ancestry relationships, like a cladogram, but taking into account inferences on the genetic code similarities between the organism involved in the analysis
  • PPE: personal protective equipment, devices used to protect a person against risks to their health
  • Polymer: a chain of molecules or a large molecule composed of many repeating subunits
  • Replication: viral replication is the mechanism to generate new viruses during the infection, it is the process of virus multiplication
  • RNA: ribonucleic acid, an information molecule, can be the “base code” for viruses
  • SARS-CoV-2: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
  • Sequencing: the process of “reading” genomic material such as DNA or RNA
  • Taxon (plural taxa): in biology, is unit that represents one organism, a group of organisms or a population that share similar characteristics
  • Tagmented/Tagmentation: A method of fragmenting DNA while added a “tag” of nucleotides that can be tracked in analysis
  • Viral variant: a virus that has one or more mutations in its genome
  • VOC: variant of concern, according to WHO it is a SARS-CoV-2 variant which meets the definition of a VOI and that has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance: a) increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; or b) increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; or c) decrease in the effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics
  • VOI: variant of interest, according to WHO it is a SARS-CoV-2 variant a) with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape; and b) identified to cause significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside an increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health
  • WGS: Whole-genome sequencing
  • WHO: World Health Organisation

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The Power of Genomics to Understand the COVID-19 Pandemic

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