AI Predicts Wave Patterns of COVID-19 Variants

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The present AI models do not predict variant specific COVID viral spread. However, a new AI model can forecast which SARS-CoV-2 variants can trigger a fresh wave of COVID-19 infection, reveals a report published in PNAS Nexus (1 Trusted Source
Predicting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants: An artificial intelligence enabled early detection

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Tracking COVID-19 Variant Specific Viral Spread with Artificial Intelligence

Retsef Levi and colleagues studied what factors could shape the viral spread based on an analysis of 9 million SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequences collected by the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) from 30 countries, along with data on vaccination rates, infection rates, and other factors.


The patterns that emerged from this analysis were used to build a machine-learning-enabled risk assessment model. The model can detect 72.8% of the variants in each country that will cause at least 1,000 cases per million people in the next three months after an observation period of only one week after detection.

This predictive performance increases to 80.1% after two weeks of observation. Among the strongest predictors that a variant will become infectious are the early trajectory of the infections caused by the variant, the variant’s spike mutations, and how different the mutations of a new variant are from those of the most dominant variant during the observation period.

The modeling approach could potentially be extended to predict the future course of other infectious diseases as well, according to the authors.


  1. Predicting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants: An artificial intelligence enabled early detection – (


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