7700 Genome Sequences of COVID-19 Track Mutations

The Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) is one of the databases compiling all of the genome sequencing of COVID-19. The disease is being repeatedly sequenced to track it mutations.

Genome sequencing of the disease is being done all of over the world and we are nearly at 8000 genome sequences.

Genome sequences are being pooled into several databases that are vital for tracking how the virus mutates over time as it spreads and for the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines.

Europe has performed 52% of the COVID-19 genome sequences.
North America has 23%.
Asia has 15%.

Africa and South America have each performed 1%.

The lack of sequencing could mean that any vaccines or treatment might not work as well for Africa and South American strains of COVID-19.

7 thoughts on “7700 Genome Sequences of COVID-19 Track Mutations”

  1. I’ve seen several claims by non-virologists that there are supposedly at least two strains: a violent one and a mild one. I’d like to know if the genetic data supports those claims.

    I’m not a geneticist nor virologist either. From the phylogenetic tree at https://www.gisaid.org/epiflu-applications/next-hcov-19-app/ , I can see there are several distinct branches. I’m guessing those are associated with the geographic path of the spread. But I can’t tell how much genetic difference there is between those branches. Is it enough to count as separate strains? And furthermore, is there any significant difference in their behavior?

  2. We would also need a system that can take all that data and use it.

    Just like the weather, it needs to be consolidated into a large scale 4D map (3D changing over time) that can then be interpreted to show where the weather is going.

    I don’t think we’ve got that yet either.

  3. Nearly 8,000 sequences? We need to reach the point where, if someone has an infection that has to be brought to the attention of a doctor, they’ll always have it sequenced. In fact, going to get it sequenced, when you’re suffering from something, should be like buying a lottery ticket: “Oh, you had something we haven’t seen before! Here’s a check!”

    And put filters out in airplanes and public buildings, and sequence what’s found on those, too.

    Sequencing infections is like having weather stations for weather forecasting: You never have enough data. Lack of data has been our primary failure in dealing with Covid 19.

    We don’t need thousands of sequences done, we need billions.

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