Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the Military Health System during 1 March-31 December 2020

Lindsay Morton, Brett Forshey, Kimberly Bishop-Lilly, Regina Cer, Anthony Fries, Amy Bogue, Ryan Undewood, Sara Bazaco, Clarise Starr, William Gruner, Francisco Malagon, Christopher Myers, Irina Maljkovic Berry, Jeffrey Kugelman, Kathleen Creppage, Mark Scheckelhoff, Kevin Taylor, Guillermo Pimentel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This report describes SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance conducted by the Department of Defense (DoD) Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Branch and the Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics Consortium (NGSBC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Samples and sequence data were from SARS-CoV-2 infections occurring among Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries from 1 March to 31 December 2020. There were 1,366 MHS samples sequenced from 10 countries, 36 U.S states or territories, and 5 Geographic Combatant Commands, representing approximately 2% of DoD cases in 2020. Genomes from these samples were compared with other public sequences; observed trends were similar to those of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance in the U.S. with B.1, B.1.2, and other sub-lineages comprising the dominant variants of SARS-CoV-2. Sequence data were used to monitor transmission dynamics on U.S. Navy ships and at military training centers and installations. As new variants emerge, DoD medical and public health practitioners should maximize the use of genomic surveillance resources within DoD to inform force health protection measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Surveillance Monthly Report
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Military Health Services
  • Military Personnel
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2/genetics


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