To support the global response to COVID-19 and future pandemics, LNS is collaborating in the European END-VOC project.
What is the current situation regarding SARS-CoV-2 variants? Has the virus increased its mutation rate since the start of the pandemic, and if so, why? How much room is there for more mutations, notably in the Spike protein? How do you expect SARS-CoV-2 to continue evolving? Is it becoming predictable? What are the possible sources for a new Variant of Concern? The END-VOC project team answers all these questions in a new article published on the project website.
The END-VOC project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe program, aims to assess the circulation and impact of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants by studying well-characterized cohorts around the world. The END-VOC consortium, which includes LNS, consists of 19 partners with cohorts in Europe (UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland), South America (Brazil and Peru), Africa (Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria and 13 countries in the ANTICOV trial), Middle East (Palestine) and Asia (India, Pakistan, Philippines). By using data from 28 well-established cohorts in these countries, the three-year project will focus on five key areas: i) detect and characterise emerging viral variants; evaluate their capacity to ii) evade vaccine-induced immunity or cause reinfections, iii) escape current treatments, iv) cause Long Covid; as well as v) provide recommendations to better prepare and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks.