Sheffield Bioinformatics Core has been working with Dr. Thushan de Silva and his group from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease in the university to deliver SARS-CoV-2 sequencing, as part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) project. The Sheffield COVID-19 Genomics Group sequence SARS-CoV-2 positive samples from hospitals and health-care facilities throughout Yorkshire and The Humber to ensure the local NHS trusts and public health teams are delivered timely information on the lineage composition of the viruses circulating in the local community.
In early May, the team identified a cluster of novel SARS-CoV-2 viruses, with a constellation of concerning spike gene mutations. This virus cluster is now designated AV.1 and was made the variant under investigation (VUI-21MAY-01) by Public Health England. It’s circulation in the UK is being closely monitored.
- More about the discovery of AV.1 is described here