The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) launched this week the SARS-CoV-2 Variants Overview interactive web resource to support the identification of emerging variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This free, open access tool provides the public health community with valuable information needed to guide COVID-19 pandemic research and response efforts.
The SARS-CoV-2 Variants Overview aggregates SARS-CoV-2 sequence data from NLM’s GenBank and Sequence Read Archive (SRA) genetic databases to provide quick visualizations of the geographical prevalence of COVID-19 variants in the United States and around the world.
This resource provides data on SARS-CoV-2 variants and lineages classified as:
- Variants Being Monitored (VBM)
- Variants of Interest (VOI)
- Variants of Concern (VOC)
- Variants of High Consequence (VOHC)
“This portal provides access to variant calls made with a standardized approach from SARS-CoV-2 sequence data in SRA records,” said Stephen Sherry, PhD, Acting Director of NCBI. “It provides the high-quality data needed to make reliable predictions about the spread of COVID-19 to support the ongoing pandemic response.”
The SARS-CoV-2 Variants Overview is the result of NLM’s ongoing collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) initiative, a public-private partnership for a coordinated research strategy to support and accelerate the development of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.