In recent viral outbreaks including Ebola and MERS-CoV, molecular sequencing of the viral pathogen has revealed critical insights into the evolution and transmission of the disease, and offered tantalizing examples of the potential value of this approach to future outbreak control efforts. However, the scale and impact of new DNA technologies in these outbreaks has largely been stunted, due in part to the complexities and logistics of shipping samples for sequencing at existing centres, and the resulting delays in the production of the sequence data meaning that the resulting inferences have limited direct utility for the response efforts. This project aims to overcome these challenges by producing a cheap, mobile virus sequencing system, supported by statistically rigorous analysis frameworks, and information sharing platforms, to prepare for the next outbreak and ensure that viral genome sequencing is positioned to have full impact on the public health response.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust
Collaborators Award 206298/Z/17/Z --- ARTIC network