Global disparities in SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance


Genomic sequencing provides critical information to track the evolution and spread of SARS-CoV-2, optimize molecular tests, treatments and vaccines, and guide public health responses. To investigate the spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the global SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance, we estimated the impact of sequencing intensity and turnaround times (TAT) on variant detection in 167 countries. Most countries submit genomes> 21 days after sample collection, and 77% of low and middle income countries sequenced< 0.5% of their cases. We found that sequencing at least 0.5% of the cases, with a TAT< 21 days, could be a benchmark for SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance efforts. Socioeconomic inequalities substantially impact our ability to quickly detect SARS-CoV-2 variants, and undermine the global pandemic preparedness.

In Nature Communications
Elizaveta Semenova
Elizaveta Semenova
Lecturer in Biostatistics, Computational Epidemiology and Machine Learning

My research interests include Bayesian inference, spatial statistics and epidemiology.