The Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) in partnership with the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) collaboratively launched the SUPER project on November 12, 2021, at EPHI premises.
The SUPER project which is an acronym for Scaling Up Pathogen Genomic Sequencing for Epidemic Response in Ethiopia (SUPER) is a project that secured grant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the Global Grand Challenges and is set to run till August 31, 2022.
Over 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 positive samples are set to be collected across 14 hospitals and laboratories over a period of ten months which will be subjected to next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to identify any new variants. During the course of the project, the efficacy of existing diagnostic assays for detecting these different variants will be tested. New genomic data will be promptly uploaded to public repositories, and a web-based platform will be developed to rapidly communicate research findings to relevant stakeholders, including the Ethiopian Ministry of Health so that results can be readily translated into public health policy.
Through the partnership of both institutes, the project team will use AHRI’s Clinical Research Network (CRN) platforms whilst EPHI’s SARS-CoV-2 public health testing laboratories networks will be used as sample collection sites.