CoVICIS Newsletter​ November 2022

CoVICIS so far…

Launched in early 2022, CoVICIS represents a global approach to combatting the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, coupling powerful state-of-the-art virologic and immunologic platforms with large genomic surveillance studies and diverse cohorts in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Led by the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and running from 2022-2025 with funding from Horizon Europe, this highly integrated consortium features 14 partners from 7 countries – Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, and South Africa – combining world class expertise in epidemiology, genomics, virology, immunology, data science, and public health.

CoVICIS in context: SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in South Africa with Prof. Carolyn Williamson, Ph.D., University of Cape Town

Professor Carolyn Williamson, Ph.D., is head of the division of medical virology at the University of Cape Town and co-founder of the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA). As part of CoVICIS, Prof Williamson and her team are investigating the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in the context of the HIV epidemic in South Africa and how this may influence the emergence of variants of concern in people living with HIV. In the first CoVICIS blogpost, Prof Williamson join us to discuss the impressive surveillance work being conducted in the region and some of the insights into future work to investigate the role of the HIV epidemic in the emergence of variants of concern. 

CoVICIS and the Cohorts United Against COVID-19 Variants of Concern

CoVICIS is proud to be part of the broader EU-funded collaboration of Cohorts United Against COVID-19 Variants of Concern, including a network of COVID-19 cohort-based research projects (CoVICIS, ECRAIDEND-VOC, EuCARE, Orchestra, ReCoDID, SYNCHROS, unCoVer, VACCELERATE, VERDI) and other initiatives such as the European COVID-19 Data Platform. This network of partners seeks to rapidly advance the knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants of concern through greater harmonization, from protocol development to data collection and analysis, and combining efforts between different cohorts to provide larger sample sizes and increased power analysis. The collective outcome is to develop evidence-based, strategic, and robust recommendations for the effective control and prevention of COVID-19 infection. Drawing on world leading multidisciplinary expertise, these diverse efforts are allowing the rapid and consistent estimation of the occurrence and spread of emerging variants of concern in different parts of the world, while contributing to a better understanding of their transmissibility, virulence, and pathogenicity.

CoVICIS online materials

New resources are now available on the CoVICIS website to help communicate about the consortium with external stakeholders. Head over to the Resources page to find a handy one-pager for a quick overview of the consortium, including our objectives, scientific pillars, and partners, or download a set of graphics that can be used in presentations or shared on social media.

External resources

Visit the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa for weekly SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance updates from South Africa.

Don’t forget to bookmark the webpages for future reference!

  CoVICIS is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under grant nr 101046041

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