REDITUS SEQUENCING SHOWS PREVALENCE OF OMICRON VARIANT

PEKIN, IL – The latest sequencing data from Reditus Laboratories show and confirm what was expected, that the omicron variant has become the predominant COVID-19 variant in Illinois.

Reditus CEO Dr. Aaron Rossi reported on Tuesday that, of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) specimens collected on January 11th and 12th, 90 were sequenced using the lab’s Illumina NextSeq Sequencing technology. Of those 90, 88 were identified as the omicron variant and two were identified as the delta variant.

Ninety-six randomly selected positive specimens collected from December 14th through 18th were sequenced. Ninety-four of those were identified as the omicron variant and two as the delta variant, Dr. Rossi reported.

In comparison with randomly selected positive specimens collected from December 1st through December 4th, 188 were sequenced, with all 188 identified as the delta variant.

All told, of 374 randomly selected positive specimens sequenced since December, 192 have been the delta variant and 182 have been omicron.

“The omicron variant is currently the most predominate SARS-CoV-2 circulating within the U.S. as it’s been anticipated. The interesting story here is, rapidly, omicron became almost 100% of all positive cases so quickly. The data does show that also is the case in our testing area,” Dr. Rossi said. The majority of the cases identified during the sequencing runs were from people from throughout Illinois.

“The omicron variant is currently the most predominate SARS-CoV-2 circulating within the U.S. as it’s been anticipated. The interesting story here is, rapidly, omicron became almost 100% of all positive cases so quickly. The data does show that also is the case in our testing area,” Dr. Rossi said. The majority of the cases identified during the sequencing runs were from people from throughout Illinois.

Variants are of concern because they have been shown to be potentially more contagious and transmissible. Dr. Rossi said his goal in sharing sequencing information from time to time is to keep the public aware of the spreading variants. Reditus will have another CovidSeq sequencing to analyze in the next few days. If there is anything interesting or alarming to report, Reditus will share the data.

Reditus tests nasal samples collected for COVID-19 using gold-standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing. Despite the recent increase in testing because of the surge in COVID-19 cases, Reditus’s average turnaround time for processing test results was about 20 hours. Reditus has has processed more than 500,000 tests in the last forty days.
Reditus sequencing data is shared with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and GISAID, a global initiative that provides access to genomic data of influenza viruses and COVID-19.

Reditus lab staff processing COVID tests

###

Reditus Laboratories is a full-service laboratory company with a heavy focus on molecular diagnostics. Based in Pekin, Illinois, Reditus provides top-tier, accurate anatomical and clinical pathology services, including cytology, histology and molecular testing. Reditus is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program. Additional information is at www.redituslabs.com, as well as on Facebook at Reditus Laboratories and Twitter @ReditusLabs.