During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to collect descriptive information about the provenance and attributes of SARS-CoV-2 genomic samples so that the course of the virus may be tracked and analyzed. The NCBI Submission Portal now includes a dedicated BioSample submission package to help further improve the quality and richness of submitted SARS-CoV-2 sample metadata. The SARS-CoV-2 clinical or host-associated package presents a framework and standardized fields for submitters to provide attributes considered useful for the rapid analysis and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 clinical and host-associated cases. For example, mandatory attributes include collection date and geographic location, while suggested but optional attributes include date of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, vaccine received, and host disease outcome.
Providing this rich metadata is important for maximizing the utility and understanding of submitted SARS-CoV-2 genomic data and supports international epidemiology and therapeutic development efforts.
The SARS-CoV-2 clinical or host-associated package was developed in collaboration with the CDC SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium, and the Public Health Alliance for Genomic Epidemiology (PHA4GE) coalition.