Forms of Classification

There are various strategies in which SARS-CoV-2 viruses are classified. Each classification kind can be appropriate, based on the context in which SARS-CoV-2 is being communicated. SARS-CoV-2 is generally talked over in the context of lineages (and sublineages). The most generally employed classification method for lineages is Pango. Nextclade may possibly also be made use of in this context. In a much larger context, lineages or groups of linked lineages may possibly be labeled employing Greek letters (such as Omicron) by the Globe Health and fitness Firm (WHO). These classification techniques empower researchers to converse similarities and discrepancies amongst SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

Variant Classification

The U.S. Section of Overall health and Human Providers (HHS) set up a SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) to enhance coordination between CDC, Countrywide Institutes of Overall health (NIH), Foods and Drug Administration (Fda), Biomedical Sophisticated Study and Advancement Authority (BARDA), and Section of Defense (DoD). This interagency team characterizes rising variants and monitors their prospective affect on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

The SIG satisfies regularly to examine SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the United States and to make recommendations about the classification of variants. A team of specialists assess the out there info on variant proportion at the nationwide and regional stage. This info is shared with nearby and state community wellness officials to aid in their choice-making for neighborhood-degree steerage. They also evaluate how these adjustments may possibly have an impact on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, as nicely as transmission and severity of illness. Variants may be reclassified as additional information gets to be available.

Notes: Each variant classification features the attainable attributes of lower courses (for example, VOC consists of the attainable attributes of VOI). This web page will be up to date as required to demonstrate the variants that belong to each individual class. U.S. classifications may differ from the WHO classifications since the effects of variants might differ by location. The labels assigned to each individual variant are provided in the Checklist of Variants Table.

Pango Lineage Procedure

Lineages are named employing an alphabetical prefix (these kinds of as B or BA) and numerical suffix (this kind of as “.1” or “.1.1.5”). When a new lineage is described, the Pango technique assigns an supplemental selection to the title of its mum or dad lineage (e.g., BA.2.75 is a sublineage of BA.2). As the virus proceeds to improve, the Pango lineage names can grow to be really extended. Lineages with for a longer period names may possibly be provided alphabetic aliases and numbering continues (e.g., “BA” stands for “B.1.1.529,” thus BA.2 is the very same as B.1.1.529.2).

For much more facts on the Pango lineage technique and its nomenclature, see the Pango Community


Associates of a clade will share a lot of features with every other, reflecting their widespread ancestry.  Not every single SARS-CoV-2 virus is assigned its very own clade by Nextclade. Each probable clade need to circulate at a sure frequency for a time period of time, display steady advancement in a location, or be assigned a WHO classification. The Nextclade crew outlines their clade designation rubric in this publication

Nextclade clade names consist of the two-digit year of assignment adopted by a letter indicating the get of assignment inside the yr. For illustration, “22A” is the first clade selected in 2022 and corresponds to the team of Pango lineages that descended from BA.4, which was circulating in early 2022. More information and facts about the numerous clades and their partnership to the many Pango lineages is in depth at


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