CDC is conducting a brand new pilot on samples it’s accumulating as a part of its Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance (TGS) program that may present early detection of flu, RSV, and choose different respiratory viruses, along with SARS-CoV-2. The pilot, which can final for a number of months, can be carried out by Ginkgo Bioworks and XpresCheck. Samples that check optimistic for these viruses can be sequenced and uploaded to public databases to offer invaluable data to public well being officers and coverage makers.
“The growth of the Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program to flu, RSV, and different pathogens is crucial as we head into fall respiratory season. The TGS program, which started through the COVID-19 pandemic, acted as an early warning system to detect new and uncommon variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can do the identical for different respiratory viruses going ahead,” mentioned Dr. Cindy Friedman, chief of CDC’s Vacationers’ Well being Department.
TGS is a multimodal platform that consists of three complementary approaches together with voluntary nasal sampling of arriving worldwide vacationers, plane testing and wastewater sampling at seven airports nationwide. TGS has confirmed to be a nimble and scalable useful resource for public well being officers in the USA–shortly adapting to a altering pandemic in actual time and addressing gaps in international surveillance; particularly, when testing and sequencing data are restricted. For instance, TGS offered early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 variant BA.2.86 entering the United States inside days of its international identification. Because the contaminated traveler had originated journey in Japan, this discovering additionally knowledgeable the general public well being group that the brand new variant had additionally unfold to Asia.
As of September 2023, TGS has enrolled greater than 360,000 air vacationers. Participation in this system is voluntary and nameless. This system covers flights from greater than 135 international locations from all World Well being Group areas.