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Timeline: community work

From mid May: the Community continues to publish critical analyses of the transmission and biology of SARS-CoV-2. You can continue to follow these at our twitter feed @nanopore, and we will provide more infrequent updates on the timeline below.

04 September

ARTIC network pre-print describes enhanced SARS-CoV-2 genome coverage, improved demultiplexing, 1-hour reduction in hands on time, and reagents costs of ~£10 ($13) per sample — further supporting ongoing population-scale sequencing. Read more

28 August

First SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Botswana being sequenced on MinION.

25 August

Kai-Wang To et al used MinION with ARTIC whole genome sequencing methodology to perform rapid whole genome sequencing of samples collected during two episodes of COVID-19 in a patient — the first resulting in hospitalisation and the second asymptomatic, identified through routine travel screening. The data suggest that the second episode was caused by re-infection as opposed to persistent viral shedding. Read more

20 August

Nanopore sequencing technology was used to support the generation of 649 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from New Zealand. Despite its remoteness, the viruses imported into New Zealand represented nearly all of the genomic diversity sequenced from the global virus population. The data also helped to quantify the effectiveness of public health interventions, which, for the largest cluster, were shown to reduce the reproductive number from 7 to 0.2 within the first week of lockdown. According to the authors ‘these results demonstrate the utility of genomic pathogen surveillance to inform public health and disease mitigation’. Read more

11 August

Oxford Nanopore share preprint describing the LamPORE method for rapid, accurate, and highly scalable molecular screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Read the paper

28 July

The SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein is a leading vaccine targeted. In this study, researchers identified a 24-nucleotide deletion in over half of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein transcripts from cultured cells. These findings emphasise the importance of monitoring viral genome sequence during the growth of viral stocks. Read more

23 July

Science publication describes the use of nanopore technology in conjunction with the ARTIC whole genome sequencing methodology to analyse 427 Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The results indicated over 100 international introductions of the pathogen. The virus was shown to be well-established prior to the implementation of travel bans and non-pharmaceutical interventions, suggesting more rigorous measures may be required to further control virus spread. Read more

21 July

Using direct RNA sequencing on the MinION, researchers in Germany demonstrated consistent RNA modification patterns across three SARS-CoV-2 isolates. These results suggest that base modifications may represent a possible target for drug interventions. Read the pre-print.

14 July

In a publication in the Lancet, researchers in Cambridge, UK, implemented a rapid nanopore sequencing workflow to investigate suspected healthcare-associated COVID-19 cases. The assay, which delivered sample-to-sequence in under 12 hours, was applied to 1,000 samples collected from hospitals across the East of England. The results allowed identification of hospital-acquired transmission and substantial transmission in healthcare-associated community settings — supporting the implementation of enhanced infection control measures. Read more

1 July

Nanopore sequencing used for first report into genetic diversity of Moroccan SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Sixty-one mutations were observed in the samples compared with the reference sample. Phylogenetic analysis revealed multiple introductions with no specific strain currently dominating. Read more

24 June

MedRiv pre-print describes use of ARTIC nanopore sequencing protocol to identify a SNP in SARS-CoV-2 genome that negatively impacts qRT-PCR testing. Analysis of GISAID data reveals same mutation has arisen independently multiple times.

23 June

Researchers use nanopore technology in conjunction with the ARTIC whole genome sequencing methodology to analyse 427 Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The results indicated over 100 international introductions of the pathogen. The virus was shown to be well-established prior to the implementation of travel bans and non-pharmaceutical interventions, suggesting more rigorous measures may be required to further control virus spread. Read more

18 June

Nanopore sequencing used to investigate genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the multiple introductions and the existence of a major SARS-CoV-2 B1.1 lineage associated with widespread community transmission. Read more

18 June

At London Calling 2020, experts in epidemiology came together from across the world to discuss the sequencing-based response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Kenya, China, the UK and the US. Read more here.

9 June

G42 announce population-scale LamPORE SARS-CoV-2 testing workflow in UAE — capable of processing hundreds of thousands of samples daily.

5 June

Twenty Ugandan SARS-CoV-2 genomes generated using nanopore sequencing added to GISAID.

2 June

Over 100 Kenyan SARS-CoV-2 genomes are now available on GISAID. Results reveal that early cases came from multiple introductions to the country from Europe and Asia.

22 May

Oxford Nanopore Technologies announces advanced development of LamPORE, for rapid, highly scalable, low-cost COVID-19 detection. LamPORE is designed to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a saliva, swab or environmental samples. It is the first assay developed by Oxford Nanopore with the intention of future diagnostic use.

19 May

In Australia, researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have been sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples on Nanopore's high-throughput sequencer PromethION, achieving 100X coverage in just 20 minutes.

15 May

In a study published in The Lancet, a team of researchers investigated a COVID-19 outbreak in Bavaria, Germany. Combing epidemiology informaton, genomic data generated from a MinION device was used to understand transmission events and parameters that are relevant for successful containment.

15 May

A group of scientists in Canada led by Dr. Martin Smith have been ramping up their efforts to sequence SARS-CoV-2 genomes on MinION Mk1C. So far, 28 whole genome sequences have been made available on GISAID, with more to come. Read more about how Mk 1C has being used in the field.

14 May

Scientists in Sheffield hit the incredible milestone of 1000 COVID-19 nanopore genomes in just over 8 weeks.

11 May

To better understand the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Minas Gerais (MG), the second most populous state in southeast Brazil, a team of scientists sequenced 40 complete genomes using Nanopore's MinION device. Combing with the existing epidemiological data from 3 states, these findings highlight the need for real-time and continued genomic surveillance strategies to prepare against the epidemic spread of emerging viral pathogens. Read the pre-print here.

4 May

At UCL, 458 SARS-CoV-2 genomes have been submitted to COVID-19 Genomic Consortium UK using nanopore sequencing. Find out more from the pre-print here.

3 May

A team of researchers published a study describing the sequencing of 320 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from COVID-19 patients in metropolitan Houston, Texas, on Oxford Nanopore's GridION device. "This study represents analysis of the largest sample of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences to date from patients in the southern United States, The data provide a critical resource for assessing virus evolution, the origin of new outbreaks, and the effect of host immune response".

1 May

Scientists led by ErasmusMC combined epidemiological data with whole genome sequencing (WGS) of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples from using nanopore sequencing, to perform an in-depth analysis of sources and modes of transmission of SARS -CoV-2 in healthcare worker and patients. Read the pre-print here.

1 May

For the past 6 weeks, scientists at Cambridge COVID-19 genomic lab have been sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genomes on GridION sequencer. So far, they have sequenced 1000 genomes for Covid-19 Genomics Consortium UK.

30 April

First COVID-19 samples sequenced on a MinION Mk1C

This week, a team at Fuyang City CDC in China became the first to sequence COVID-19 samples using MinION Mk1C. They sequenced nine samples using MinION Mk1C and have been sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genomes using the ARTIC protocol on MinION since the outbreak began, helping to inform the public health response.


The MinION Mk1C combines the real-time, rapid, portable sequencing of MinION and Flongle with real-time, powerful GPU based computing and a high resolution screen, in one portable device. The device became available to early access users at the start of the year and following success from this group, more MinION Mk1C’s are now making their way into the field. Find out more about Mk1C here.

30 April

Spike protein of SASE-CoV-2 plays an important role both in viral infectivity and as an antibody target. Researches at the University of Sheffield, UK develped a spike mutation pipeline that has the potential to reveal the emergence of a more transmissible form of SARS-CoV-2. In this paper, long-read nanopore whole genome sequencing was used for the detection and sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from clinical samples

30 April

In this pre-print, a team of researchers in Düsseldorf, Germany carried out a genomic epidemiology investigation for "Heinsberg Outbreak" -- Germany's first large-scale SARS-CoV-2 outbreak from nearby city, Düsseldorf (70km away). Whole-genome sequencing of 55 SARS-CoV-2 isolates were sequenced using the ARTIC protocol and nanopore technology, informing public health containment and contact tracing efforts.

29 April

Scientists join forces to form the Irish Coronavirus Sequencing Consortium – they’ll use nanopore technology to track viral epidemiology.

25 April

A study led by ErasmusMC and CDC in the Netherlands published a pre-print , describing the first three weeks of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the Netherlands,The timely generation of whole genome sequences using nanopore technology combined with epidemiological investigations facilitated early decision making in an attempt to control local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands.

25 April

A new pre-print on bioRxiv described nsp14-ExoN as a key determinant for both high fidelity CoV replication and recombination. Long-read direct RNA sequencing on the Oxfod Nanopore Technologies MinION platform was used to sequence complete RNA molecules.

24 April

In a new paper published by Public Health–Seattle and King County (PHSKC) and the CDC at Atlanta on NEJM, researchers identified residents in a skilled nursing home with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection used combined methods including rRT-PCR and Nanopore MinION sequencing to conduct further investigation for the prevalence and transmission in the facility.

23 April

Using ARTIC procotol on MinION sequencer, scientists completed the first batch of 328 Danish COVID-19 genomes. Sequences are now available on GISAID.

22 April

The first SARS-CoV-2 sequence is completed in The Gambia using ARTIC protocol on Nanopore MinION device. Genome sequence is now available on GISAID.

20 April

As part of the UK COVID-19 consortium, researchers at UCL are running nanopore sequencing at full capacity, generating 192 SARS-CoV-2 genomes in 6 hours.

16 April

The first complete SARS-CoV-2 sequence in Montreal using ARTIC protocol on Nanopore MinION device.

14 April

Nearly 600 SARS-CoV-2 sequences have been uploaded by UK COVID-19 Consortium onto GISAID, with many other users scaling up nanopore sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

9 April

~900 scientists from 50 countries worldwide joined two webinars to learn how to use nanopore sequencing in COVID-19. You can find more information about the webinars here.

9 April

In Virginia, scientists at the Department of General Services’ (DGS) Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) are among the first to use Oxford Nanopore's portable MinION sequencer to decode Virginian OCVID-19 samples that contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which will help health officials better understand and track the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic - how the virus is changing and how it is being transmitted. Read NBC news report here.

6 April

141 new Belgian SARS2-CoV strains were released by the team at KU Leuven today on GISAID, sequenced with nanopore technology using Artic protocol.

4 April

In this new study, Guangdong provincial CDC in China combined genetic and epidemiological data to investigate the genetic diversity, evolution, and epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Guangdong Province. The team generated virus genome sequences from 53 COVID-19 patients in Guangdong by a combination of metagenomic sequencing and multiplex PCR amplification followed by nanopore sequencing on a MinION device. Guangdong is the most populated province in China and had the highest confirmed cases in China outside of Hubei Province.

3 April

Using Oxford Nanopore's GridION device, scientists at UCL have been running a sequencing pipeline for COVID-19, from extraction to Nanopore sequencing. This is part of the UK's major new alliance to map the spread of coronavirus.

2 April

A collaborative research team led by Guangdong Provincial CDC published a pre-print for the identification of a common deletion in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. In this paper, direct cDNA sequencing in Nanopore platform was used as part of the multiple sequencing methods for whole genome sequencing and the validation of variants.

1 April

Nanopore sequencing technology is now used by researchers in 30 countries around the world for SARS-CoV-2 sequencing in COVID-19 patient samples. We are supporting users in more than 40 countries to get started.

31 March

43 new SARS-CoV-2 genomes have been sequenced by the University of Liège, Belgium on nanopore MinION using ARTIC protocol. Sequences are now available on Nextstrain.

30 March

Scientists in Singapore sequence the first nanopore SARS-CoV-2 genome on MinION -- from RNA to SARS-CoV-2 sequence in 7 hours.

30 March

63 new Canadian SARS-CoV-2 genomes are now available on GISAID shared by BCCDC Public Health Laboratory. These genomes were sequenced by using ARTIC protocol on Nanopore platform.

29 March

In Saudi Arabia , scientists at King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in the capital city of Riyadh have started sequencing samples from COVID-19 patients using MinION.

29 March

First complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from 10 patients with COVID-19 were sequenced at The Institut Pasteur de Montevideo in Uruguay. Read here for more details.

Researchers noted that: "Sequence the genomes in less than 24 hours allows obtaining information on epidemiological behavior almost in real time during the course of an epidemic. It will allow them to know (1) where the strains that entered Uruguay come from; (2) when they arrived and (3) if there are different variants of the coronavirus in the country among others. This will be useful to inform how to manage border closures and healthcare."

29 March

The first Colombian genome of SARS-CoV-2 is sequenced using the ARTIC protocol on MinION -- now available on GISAID.

27 March

Scientist in Malaysia sequences the first COVID-19 genome on MinION.

26 March

A team of scientist led by Yale School of Public Health published a pre-print characterising Coast-to-coast spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States with the portable MinION platform. The team was able to generate the first SARS-CoV-2 genome approximately 14 hours after receiving the sample and performing near real-time sequencing and bioinformatics.

24 March

Using direct RNA sequencing on an Oxford Nanopore MinION, a group of scientists from Bristol university, Public Health England and Liverpool univeritsy characterised the transcriptome and proteome of SARS-CoV-2 grown in Vero E6 cells in this pre-print.

24 March

Scientists in Garvan Institute in Austrslia run a single SARS-CoV-2 sample on Flongle for real time monitoring. The team was able to achieve over 100x coverage in ~10min of sequencing.

23 March

UK government announces £20m funding to a new UK research alliance for sequencing-based studies of COVID-19, enabling rapid, large-scale analysis of samples from patients testing positive for COVID-19. Oxford Nanopore is supporting researchers in the cities of Birmingham, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Cardiff, Exeter and Cambridge in this programme. Read this news report on ITV about the team at the MRC’s Centre for Virus Research in Glasgow and the work at Edinburgh .

19 March

The first Russian SARS-CoV-2 genome has just been uploaded to GISAID by the WHO reference lab for Influenza in St. Petersburg, using Nanopore MinION sequencing. Read news report here (In Russian) .

18 March

60 new Dutch genomes are now available on GISAID and Nextstrain shared by the Dutch COVID response team at Erasmus MC. On the same day, the BC Centre for Disease Control uploaded 14 new SARS-CoV-2 sequences on GISAID, using nanopore sequencing for rapid tracking of the novel coronvirus.

15 March

A group of Korean scientists published a pre-print on bioRxiv, providing insights into the architecture of SARS-CoV-2 transcriptome using nanopore direct-RNA sequencing technology.

13 March

Minnesota's first three SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences are deposited to Genbank (MT188339 - MT188341) , using MinION sequencing with the ARTIC protocol.

13 March

In Western Germany, ten new genomes are posted that suggest separate introduction events and give more clarity to the Heinsberg outbreak.

12 March

An additional 48 new SARS-CoV-2 sequences from the Netherlands - making it a total of 73 from the country, have been updated on GISAID and Nextstrain. So far Dutch scientists have sequenced 7% of all known COVID-19 infections in the Netherlands. "This has shown multiple independent outbreaks, which contributed to the government decision to cancel all >100 people events".

12 March

First 2 SARS-CoV-2 genomes sequenced at The University of Sheffield, UK  on nanopore platform using ARTIC protocol.

12 March

First SARS-CoV-2 genome from Spain is available in GISAID, read news report here.

12 March

Ecuadorian scientists complete the sequencing of the first SARS-CoV-2 genome isolated in Quito using nanopore sequencing. Read news report here.

11 March

First SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence from Ireland using MinION and the ARTIC protocol.

9 March

Guangdong Provincial CDC uploads 35 SARS-CoV-2 sequences onto GISAID using the ARTIC protocol and nanopore sequencing on MinION. These data were used by scientists to understand the number, size, persistence and dynamics of transmission chains and supported public health responses in Guangdong, where transmission chains were reduced and eventually eliminated. Read the report on

9 March

First Edinburgh SARS-CoV-2 genome using the ARTIC protocol on MinION, achieving 100x coverage at 15 mins of sequencing run time.

8 March

A team of scientists from Public Health England (PHE) in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine reported the molecular characteristic of respiratory microbiome in UK COVID-19 patients within 10hr. In this paper, amplicon and metagenomic MinION based sequencing was used to rapidly identify SARS-CoV-2 and assess the microbiome in nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from patients with COVID-19 by the ISARIC 4C consortium. Read the BBC article about it here.

8 March

Erasmus University Medical Center(Erasmus MC) updated 28 new SARS-CoV-2 sequences from the Netherlands on GISAID and Nextstrain. Dr.Reina Sikkema from Erasmus MC noted that, so far all dutch sequences were generated using nanopore sequencing technology.

8 March

Researchers at the Doherty Institute in Australia publish the first native RNA sequence of SARS-CoV-2, using nanopore direct RNA sequencing. the work shows insights into subgenomic mRNA production and base modification in the virus.

8 March

The New Zealand Herald published an article describing ''A Mars Bar-sized device is helping Kiwi scientists speedily unravel the genetic jigsaw of the virus driving the Covid-19 crisis - part of an urgent global effort that could help create a vaccine.''

7 March

In Wales, researchers sequence viral genomes from the first two COVID-19 patients. Sequencing, uploading to GISAID and analysis by Nextstrain is all completed in under 24 hours, indicating that "the two genomes from Wales each group the large European outbreak clade, but don't group together, suggesting separate introductions."  Public Health Wales has provided funding to sequence the viral genomes from the first 100 patients in Wales.

6 March

France’s CIBU/PGP completes a sequence of SARS-CoV-2 within 8 hours

6 March

Nextstrain notes that the Düsseldorf01 genome, sequenced with the ARTIC protocol by Center of Medical Microbiology, shows "6 unique point mutations doesn’t group with any other known European sequences."

4 March

MIT Tech Review reviews the use of rapid viral sequencing in the outbreak, noting that "Because scientists are posting data so quickly, this is the first outbreak in which a germ’s evolution and spread have been tracked in so much detail, and almost in real time."

4 March

The first case in New Zealand commences sequencing using the ARTIC protocol.

3 March

The SARS-CoV2 virus from Scotland's first COVID-19 case is sequenced in under 24 hours using nanopore sequencing and the ARTIC protocol.

3 March

A joint team from Wuhan University, Wuhan University Peoples' Hospital and Wuhan Dgensee Clinical Laboratory Co.,Ltd, an emerging diagnostics company in China, report the testing of a rapid nanopore-based workflow for targeted sequencing of SARS-Cov2 and ten additional viruses. 

3 March

US CDC describes sequencing the first US COVID-19 patient using nanopore sequencing. Read the paper

2 March

Darui Biotechnology, the leading diagnostics company in China, reports on the work they have been doing on rapid, accessible characterisation of SARS-Cov2 using nanopore sequencing and based on the ARTIC protocol. Data shows that the workflow is able to rapidly produce accurate test results (comparisons are shown with traditional sequencing approaches), resolving false negatives in qPCR caused by low viral load or mutations.  Full viral sequence information and the presence of mutations in the genome are both shown reliably and rapidly. For more information view this post (Mandarin language).

1 March

British Columbia CDC release the genome of a Canadian SARSCoV2 genome, providing the first sequence of a genome where the patient has travelled from Iran, and thus providing the first phylogenetic view of the Iran outbreak. @Nexstrain notes: "This groups most closely with a Shandong virus, but it is still consistent with Wuhan - Iran - BC transmission." The genome was sequenced using the MinION and the ARTIC protocol.

29 Feb

In Brazil, the CADDE project 36 at the Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, releases sequence data for the first South American case of COVID-19, from a patient who had travelled to Lombardia, Italy.  Sequencing and data release were performed in record time using the ARTIC protocol and nanopore sequencing.  Researchers report that “the virus estimated phylogeny consistently places the Brazil/SPBR1/2020 in a strongly supported cluster with the Germany/BavPat1/2020 strain”. Read the BBC article(Portuguese language).

20 Feb

Genome British Columbia, Canada, describes the importance of sequencing in genomic epidemiology of the virus, and announces a new project that incorporates nanopore sequencing: "Responding to Emerging Serious Pathogen Outbreaks using Next-gen Data: RESPOND"

19 Feb

Darui Biotechnology, the leading diagnostics company in China, is accelerating the development of an Oxford Nanopore-based rapid solution for the sequencing of the virus responsible for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), which can then easily be used in any laboratory, public heath body and hospital. 

5 Feb

Hanzhou CDC enters the first nanopore-only nCoV genome into GISAID, using ARTIC protocol.

3 Feb

First Belgian nCoV sample arrives in the lab at KU Leuven, at 5pm. Using the ARTIC protocol, the team completes the sequence by 9am the next day.

31 Jan

Following a week of support and liaison with scientists in China, 200 nanopore MinION devices start shipping to China to support coronavirus surveillance Read more

31 Jan

Further nCoV genomes continue to be released via GISAID (approved login required).  Genomes from Bavaria and Australia have used nanopore sequencing.  

30 Jan

Prime Minister Li Keqiang visits China CDC to inspect the current scientific research on the new coronavirus for outbreak control, witnessing the use of "3rd generation" nanopore sequencing of the novel coronavirus".

29 Jan

A paper in the Lancet from China CDC characterised full-length genomes of 2019-nCov patients using a combination of technologies including Nanopore sequencing, providing important information on possible virus origins and cell-binding receptors that is crucial for determine transmission capacity.

28 Jan

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases nCoV genomes sequenced with nanopore sequencing, and Sanger: CA1 CA2 IL1

26 Jan

China CDC provides an update on viral mutation status, noting that '3rd generation' sequencing technology is enabling them to understand whether the virus is mutating (Mandarin language) 

24 Jan - The Lancet

also publishes extensive nCoV materials. This includes a paper describing the analysis of a family cluster, sequencing using MinION, supplemented by Sanger sequencing, that indicates person-to-person transmission of the virus.

24 Jan - New England Journal of Medicine

publishes extensive reports on the virus and the outbreak, including "A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019". This manuscript describes the work conducted from 31st December 2019, when the "Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) dispatched a rapid response team to accompany Hubei provincial and Wuhan city health authorities and to conduct an epidemiologic and etiologic investigation. We report the results of this investigation, identifying the source of the pneumonia clusters, and describe a novel coronavirus detected in patients with pneumonia whose specimens were tested by the China CDC at an early stage of the outbreak. We also describe clinical features of the pneumonia in two of these patients."   This paper describes the use of nanopore sequencing as part of the investigational methods. 

22 Jan - The ARTIC project

is developing an end-to-end system for processing samples from viral outbreaks, to generate real-time epidemiological information that is interpretable and actionable by public health bodies. The ARTIC network has released a set of materials to assist groups in sequencing the nCoV-2019 virus including a set of primers, laboratory protocols, bioinformatics tutorials and datasets.  

Prime Minister Li Keqiang visits China CDC to inspect the current scientific research on the new coronavirus for outbreak control, witnessing the use of "3rd generation" nanopore sequencing of the novel coronavirus

Oxford Nanopore continues to work with community collaborators on protocol optimisation, and continues to support public health authorities using sequencing in their epidemiology work.  Please get in touch if you wish to discuss this with us.

Oxford Nanopore products are for Research Use Only.  Where community members have issued protocols, at this time we recommend contacting those publishers for further information.

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