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

Building genomic sequencing capacity in Africa to respond to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Authors: de Oliveira T, Wilkinson E, Baxter C, Tegally H, Giandhari J, Naidoo Y, Pillay S

Journal: Science, 2022. DOI:


Genomics surveillance aims to transform public health interventions by monitoring genetic changes that impact pathogenicity, diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Monitoring the genetic changes in SARS-CoV-2 has played an important role in shaping the scientific response to the pandemic and allowed the identification of several variants of interest (VOI) and five variants of concern (VOC) to date. Although Africa ac-counts for only about 2.5% and 4.1% of the world’s reported COVID-19 cases and deaths, respectively (1, 2), two of the VOC were identified by scientists from South Africa. Here, we reflect on some of the investments and capacity develop-ment initiatives that have resulted in an exponential growth in genomic sequencing capabilities across the continent over the past 2 years.