NGS-SA: Publications and pre-prints of our genomics surveillance work

An early warning system for emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants

Authors: Subissi L, von Gottberg A, Thukral L, Worp N, Oude Munnink BB, Rathore S, Abu-Raddad LJ, Aguilera X, Alm E, Archer BN, Attar Cohen H, Barakat A, Barclay WS, Bhiman JN, Caly L, Chand M, Chen M, Cullinane A, de Oliveira T, Drosten C, Druce J, Effler P, El Masry I, Faye A, Gaseitsiwe S, Ghedin E, Grant R, Haagmans BL, Herring BL, Iyer SS, Kassamali Z, Kakkar M, Kondor RJ, Leite JA, Leo Y, Leung GM, Marklewitz M, Moyo S, Mendez-Rico J, Melhem NM, Munster V, Nahapetyan K, Oh D, Pavlin BI, Peacock TP, Peiris M, Peng Z, Poon LLM, Rambaut A, Sacks J, Shen Y, Siqueira MM, Tessema SK, Volz EM, Thiel V, van der Werf S, Briand S, Perkins MD, Van Kerkhove MD, Koopmans MPG, Agrawal A

Journal: Nature Medicine, 2022. DOI:


Global sequencing and surveillance capacity for SARS-CoV-2 must be strengthened and combined with multidisciplinary studies of infectivity, virulence and immune escape, in order to track the unpredictable evolution of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) SARS-CoV-2 evolution working group was established to track SARS-CoV-2 variants and their specific genetic changes and to monitor viral characteristics and their impact on medical and non-medical countermeasures, including vaccines against COVID-19. In November 2021, this working group transitioned to a formal WHO Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), with the aim of developing and implementing a global risk-monitoring framework for SARS-CoV-2 variants, based on a multidisciplinary approach that includes in silico, virological, clinical and epidemiological data.