Mapping ACT-A sequencing activities

Mapping ACT-A sequencing activities

Page last updated 20 Dec 2021

Mapping global genomic sequencing activities from the ACT-Accelerator Diagnostics Partnership

In the past few years, pathogen genome sequencing has emerged as a tool to support understanding of the molecular epidemiology of disease outbreaks, complementing and in some cases supplanting more established techniques. While the world continues to face an unprecedented and rapidly evolving threat from COVID-19, sequencing is playing a key role in supporting ongoing vaccine development efforts and increasing knowledge of the origins and progression of the pandemic. The emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, which in some cases may be more transmissible or associated with more severe disease, has accelerated the need for a coordinated global plan to enhance next-generation sequencing (NGS) and surveillance capabilities. NGS technology forms the cornerstone of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance and is being used around the world to monitor the spread and evolution of SARS‑CoV‑2.

Great strides have been made in the genomics sequencing space globally, with the GISAID genomic repository receiving over 5.8 million submissions of SARS-CoV-2 genomes between January and November 2021. However, these advances are disproportionate, with only eight countries accounting for 75% of these submissions. Such geographic disparity leads to significant gaps for the detection of novel variants, putting global health security at risk.

To assess the extent of gaps in sequencing capacity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), FIND carried out a systematic mapping exercise of the global capacity for SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing. This NGS capacity mapping data was used to develop an action-oriented framework to classify LMICs into one of four archetypes, with associated actions needed to operationalize SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

As a next step, it was essential to identify whether LMICs were being adequately supported in their efforts to enhance genomic sequencing capacity. To this end, FIND gathered input from Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar partners to assess the extent of partner support being provided globally. Partner support was classified in five categories outlined in the global strategy for genomic surveillance of pathogens with pandemic potential:

  1.  Improving access to tools for better geographical representation
  2. Strengthening the workforce to deliver at speed, quality, and scale
  3. Enhancing data utility for streamlined local to global public health decision making and action
  4. Maximizing connectivity for timely value add in the broader surveillance architecture
  5. Maintaining a readiness posture for emergencies

The partner activity maps

 

Disclaimer: Only data submitted by 18 organizations listed below has been included in this visual. Regional projects have not yet been accounted for in this exercise.
This online visualization provides information about the types of support being provided by ACT-A Dx partners to enhance genomic sequencing and surveillance capacities globally. We will monitor and update the data regularly to incorporate any changes in the underlying data sources. If you wish to include your organization’s data in this exercise, please reach out to actadiagnostics@finddx.org.

The ACT-Accelerator and Genomic Surveillance Working Group

This work was carried out as part of the ACT-A Genomic Surveillance Working Group established in April 2021, co-led by the World Health Organization and The Rockefeller Foundation and coordinated by FIND, as the overall co-convener of the ACT-Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar. ACT-A is a global collaboration designed to rapidly leverage existing global public health infrastructure and expertise to expedite the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of the Genomic Surveillance Working Group is to harmonize, coordinate, and accelerate priority activities and investments across partners to:

  • strengthen and integrate genomic surveillance into routine surveillance systems;
  • enhance access to sequencing tools to build capacity and improve information sharing in countries for rapid identification and monitoring of variants of concern to inform real-time outbreak response; and
  • support global efforts for rapid assessment of the impact of variants of concern on existing and future diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics.

 

Many thanks to our partners for their contributions to the activity mapping exercise

  1. Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
  2. ASEAN Dx Initiative
  3. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  5. Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
  6. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI)
  7. Diagnostics Development (Dxd) Hub
  8. FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics
  9. Fondation Mérieux
  10. GISAID Initiative
  11. Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB)
  12. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  13. New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP)
  14. PATH
  15. The Rockefeller Foundation
  16. Wellcome Trust
  17. World Economic Forum
  18. World Health Organization South-East Asia (WHO SEARO)

 

Back to FIND’s COVID-19 genomic surveillance Resources