The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a consortium focused on driving research into genomics sequencing to better understand SARS-CoV-2 transmission and develop contact-tracing resources.
CDC said Friday the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance consortium includes national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, companies and institutions that will work to accelerate whole-genome sequencing studies and provide real-time data to aid COVID-19 response efforts.
SPHERES will additionally develop best practices for genomic sequencing research and submit data to open repositories such as the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data and National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information.
“The U.S. is the world’s leader in advanced rapid genome sequencing,” said Robert Redfield, director of the CDC. “This coordinated effort across our public, private, clinical, and academic public health laboratories will play a vital role in understanding the transmission, evolution, and treatment of SARS-CoV-2. I am confident that our finest, most skilled minds are working together to help us save lives today and tomorrow.”