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BackgroundIn Angola, COVID-19 cases have been reported in all provinces, resulting in >105,000 cases and >1900 deaths. However, no detailed genomic surveillance into the introduction and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been conducted in Angola. We aimed to investigate the emergence and epidemic progression during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Angola.MethodsWe generated 1210 whole-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences, contributing West African data to the global context, that were phylogenetically compared against global strains. Virus movement events were inferred using ancestral state reconstruction.ResultsThe epidemic in Angola was marked by four distinct waves of infection, dominated by 12 virus lineages, including VOCs, VOIs, and the VUM C.16, which was unique to South-Western Africa and circulated for an extended period within the region. Virus exchanges occurred between Angola and its neighboring countries, and strong links with Brazil and Portugal reflected the historical and cultural ties shared between these countries. The first case likely originated from southern Africa.ConclusionA lack of a robust genome surveillance network and strong dependence on out-of-country sequencing limit real-time data generation to achieve timely disease outbreak responses, which remains of the utmost importance to mitigate future disease outbreaks in Angola.

Original publication




Journal article


Influenza and other respiratory viruses

Publication Date





Grupo de Investigação Microbiana e Imunológica Instituto Nacional de Investigação em Saúde Luanda Angola.


Humans, Angola, Molecular Epidemiology, Pandemics, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2