G2P - Global Knowledge Exchange to Enable In Country Risk Assessment of SARS CoV-2 Variants


  • Prof Massimo Palmarini

    University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

  • Dr Varadarajan Sundaramurthy

    National Centre for Biological Sciences, India, India

  • Prof Annapurna Vyakarnam

    King's College London, United Kingdom

  • Prof Bryan Charleston

    The Pirbright Institute, United Kingdom

  • Prof Wendy Barclay

    Imperial College London, United Kingdom

  • Dr James Nyagwange

    Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya

  • Prof Michael Malim

    King's College London, United Kingdom

  • Prof Martin Antonio

Project summary

SARS CoV-2 continues to evolve. Novel variants are driven by high levels of global transmission and viral replication, sustained selection pressures imparted by existing immunity acquired through natural infection and vaccination, and increasing use of antivirals. Building on G2P-UK, established working partnerships between teams in the UK, Africa and India, and an ethos of free knowledge exchange, we outline 4 inter-related aims that will enable and prepare G2P-Global to evaluate the significance of emerging viral variation across 3 continents. We will: 1) Implement standardized methodologies that enable rapid in-country risk assessment of the biological and antigenic properties of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), providing real-time data for guiding infection control and vaccination policies; 2) Undertake discovery-led molecular, cellular and in vivo (hamster) analyses of variant phenotypes to address the mechanistic basis for how the virus can evolve while balancing immune escape with the maintenance of efficient respiratory transmission; 3) Assess the potential for spill-overs into domesticated and wild animal species and subsequent reservoir seeding; 4) Establish communications networks and laboratory resources that will build technical and logistical preparedness enabling G2P-Global partners and additional collaborators to undertake in-country virological assessments of future respiratory virus outbreaks, and associated virus variants.