To date, 23 countries from the WHO Africa region have deposited a total of 3995 SARS-CoV-2 sequences to publicly available databases, with the majority of the genomes being from South Africa (56%).

Eight-four different lineages have been identified from these countries with 86% genomes belonging to the B.1 sublineage and its descendants.

There have been multiple separate introductions of SARS-CoV-2 infections into Africa, with approximately 43% of these coming from Europe.

95% of African SARS-CoV-2 genomes have the D614G mutation in spike protein thought to be associated with higher infectivity but lower disease severity.

Cite as

Lu, L., Lycett, S., Ashworth, J., Mutapi, F. & Woolhouse, M. 2021, 'What are SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the WHO Africa region member states telling us?', BMJ Global Health, 6(1), article no: e004408. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004408

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Last updated: 19 May 2023
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