Tracking the international spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351/501Y-V2

Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA), The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, Brazil-UK CADDE Genomic Network, Swiss Viollier Sequencing Consortium, National Virus Reference Laboratory, SeqCOVID-Spain, Danish Covid-19 Genome Consortium (DCGC), Communicable Diseases Genomic Network (CDGN), Dutch National SARS-CoV-2 surveillance program, Division of Emerging Infectious Diseases (KDCA), Áine O'Toole*, Moritz U.G. Kraemer, Verity Hill, Oliver G. Pybus, Alexander Watts, Issac I. Bogoch, Kamran Khan, Jane P. Messina, Houriiyah Tegally, Richard R. LessellsJennifer Giandhari, Sureshnee Pillay, Kefentse Arnold Tumedi, Gape Nyepetsi, Malebogo Kebabonye, Maitshwarelo Matsheka, Madisa Mine, Sima Tokajian, Hamad Hassan, Tamara Salloum, Georgi Merhi, Jad Koweyes, Jemma L. Geoghegan, Joep de Ligt, Xiaoyun Ren, Matthew Storey, Nikki E. Freed, Chitra Pattabiraman, Pramada Prasad, Anita S. Desai, Ravi Vasanthapuram, Thomas F. Schulz, Lars Steinbrück, Tanja Stadler, Antonio Parisi, Angelica Bianco, Darío García de Viedma, Sergio Buenestado-Serrano, Vítor Borges, Joana Isidro, Sílvia Duarte, João Paulo Gomes, Neta S. Zuckerman, Michal Mandelboim, Orna Mor, Reina S. Sikkema, Bas Oude Munnink, Marion Koopmans, Dirk Eggink, Chantal Reusken

*Corresponding author for this work

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Late in 2020, two genetically-distinct clusters of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with mutations of biological concern were reported, one in the United Kingdom and one in South Africa. Using a combination of data from routine surveillance, genomic sequencing and international travel we track the international dispersal of lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 (variant 501Y-V2). We account for potential biases in genomic surveillance efforts by including passenger volumes from location of where the lineage was first reported, London and South Africa respectively. Using the software tool grinch (global report investigating novel coronavirus haplotypes), we track the international spread of lineages of concern with automated daily reports, Further, we have built a custom tracking website ( which hosts this daily report and will continue to include novel SARS-CoV-2 lineages of concern as they are detected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121
JournalWellcome Open Research
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 O'Toole Á et al.


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