Realising Real-time Research: Nextstrain & SARS-CoV-2 (K1)


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has driven an enormous global effort to contribute and share genomic data in order to inform local authorities and the international community about key aspects of the outbreak. Analyses of these data have played an important role in tracking the epidemiology and evolution of the virus in real-time.

Nextstrain ( is an open science initiative to harness the scientific and public health potential of pathogen genome data, and has previously provided key insight into outbreaks of Ebola and Zika, and longer-term pathogen spread of Influenza and Enterovirus. It provides a continually-updated view of publicly available data alongside powerful analytic and visualization tools for use by the community.

The Nextstrain team has been maintaining an up-to-date analysis of SARS-CoV-2 at since 20 Jan 2020. In this talk, I'll discuss the realisation of 'real-time tracking' with SARS-CoV-2 and what genetic epidemiology has allowed us to uncover about the virus' spread. I'll also discuss some of the challenges Nextstrain has faced in processing and displaying large amounts of real-time data, and what the future poses in terms of integrating molecular epidemiology into public health and pandemic preparedness.

Virologi/ epidemiologi

Emma Hodcroft, PhD, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern

Jan Albert, Professor, överläkare, Karolinska Institutet och Klinisk Mikrobiologi, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset

Erik Alm, Dr./PhD, Principal Expert Applied Molecular Epidemiology,European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)