Researchers Create COVID-19 Timeline in Arizona using Sequencing Technology

How can sequencing technologies help researchers create a timeline for the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dr. Efrem Lim, Assistant Professor at ASU’s Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, and a team of researchers, used genomics analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to create a timeline for the spread of COVID-19 infections in Arizona. By using genomics analysis and phylogenetic modeling, researchers hoped to answer questions about the spread of the virus in Arizona as well as the number of unique “lineages” that contributed to transmission and whether genetic mutations were present in the sequences found in Arizona. The full study can be found in the American Society for Microbiology journal.

Dr. Lim is a virologist who uses the tools of virus discovery to study host-virus interactions in human health and disease. The Lim lab studies interactions and evolution of the human virome in development and immunity and their research is being used in precision medicine that personalizes the prevention and treatment of diseases to individuals.