SARS-CoV-2 genomics and impact on clinical care for COVID-19

Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo*, Alexandre Machado de Sant’Anna Carvalho, Judd F. Hultquist, Egon A. Ozer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The emergence and worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the adaptation and rapid deployment of viral WGS and analysis techniques that had been previously applied on a more limited basis to other viral pathogens, such as HIV and influenza viruses. The need for WGS was driven in part by the low mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2, which necessitated measuring variation along the entire genome sequence to effectively differentiate lineages and characterize viral evolution. Several WGS approaches designed to maximize throughput and accuracy were quickly adopted by surveillance labs around the world. These broad-based SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing efforts revealed ongoing evolution of the virus, highlighted by the successive emergence of new viral variants throughout the course of the pandemic. These genomic insights were instrumental in characterizing the effects of viral mutations on transmissibility, immune escape and viral tropism, which in turn helped guide public health policy, the use of monoclonal antibody therapeutics and vaccine development strategies. As the use of direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of COVID-19 became more widespread, the potential for emergence of antiviral resistance has driven ongoing efforts to delineate resistance mutations and to monitor global sequence databases for their emergence. Given the critical role of viral genomics in the international effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, coordinated efforts should be made to expand global genomic surveillance capacity and infrastructure towards the anticipation and prevention of future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)II25-II36
JournalJournal of antimicrobial chemotherapy
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology


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