Working With the CDC and Others To Advance Understanding of SARS-CoV-2

Working With the CDC and Others To Advance Understanding of SARS-CoV-2

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 12:20pm

“Public and private collaboration is essential to mobilizing an effective response to COVID-19.”
Jay G. Wohlgemuth, MD Chief Medical Officer, Senior Vice President, Research & Development

In 2021, Quest labs continued to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The goal of the collaboration is to aid the CDC in conducting a large-scale survey of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to identify novel mutations, providing insights on the patterns of transmission and prevalence of these mutations in the US.

Quest’s large-scale longitudinal genomic survey of the virus uses a random set of samples collected from Quest labs across the US. Quest sequences the virus genome in random, deidentified samples that test positive during molecular diagnostic COVID-19 testing for clinicians, providing the CDC with whole viral sequences. These data are combined with the results of other data provided to the CDC by national, state, academic, and commercial labs, helping to meet the CDC survey’s aims. Quest’s program complements the CDC’s efforts to identify, characterize, and track new viral variants, enhancing the country’s public health response.

Quest has a long history of collaboration with the CDC to improve public health initiatives, including identifying screening, diagnostic, and treatment trends in HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections in the US, based on insights obtained by analysis of Quest’s national testing database. Quest is also a member of the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology, and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium.

New and ongoing 2021 collaborative studies on COVID-19
In addition to our collaboration with the CDC, we are participating in additional studies to support public health and to enhance our understanding of how the virus impacts various populations across the health and economic spectrum. Some of Quest’s 2021 and ongoing projects include:

  • T-cell immune response to mRNA vaccines (Yale School of Medicine)
  • Host genetics and COVID-19 severity (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center)
  • Minority and rural COVID-19 insights study (co-funded by Quest)
  • Emerging infections surveillance (Boston Children's Hospital) 

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