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Spatial Growth Rate of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Lineages in England, September 2020-December 2021

Smallman-Raynor, M. R.; Cliff, A. D.


A. D. Cliff


This paper uses a robust method of spatial epidemiological analysis to assess the spatial growth rate of multiple lineages of SARS-CoV-2 in the local authority areas of England, September 2020-December 2021. Using the genomic surveillance records of the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, the analysis identifies a substantial (7.6-fold) difference in the average rate of spatial growth of 37 sample lineages, from the slowest (Delta AY.4.3) to the fastest (Omicron BA.1). Spatial growth of the Omicron (B.1.1.529 and BA) variant was found to be 2.81 × faster than the Delta (B.1.617.2 and AY) variant and 3.76× faster than the Alpha (B.1.1.7 and Q) variant. In addition to AY.4.2 (a designated variant under investigation, VUI-21OCT-01), three Delta sublineages (AY.43, AY.98 and AY.120) were found to display a statistically faster rate of spatial growth than the parent lineage and would seem to merit further investigation. We suggest that the monitoring of spatial growth rates is a potentially valuable adjunct to outbreak response procedures for emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants in a defined population.


Smallman-Raynor, M. R., & Cliff, A. D. (2022). Spatial Growth Rate of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Lineages in England, September 2020-December 2021. Epidemiology and Infection, 150, Article e145.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 20, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 20, 2022
Journal Epidemiology and Infection
Print ISSN 0950-2688
Electronic ISSN 1469-4409
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 150
Article Number e145
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information The authors on behalf of The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium


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