Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Belgium

The Belgian SARS-CoV-2 sequencing consortium, coordinated by the national reference centre UZ/KU Leuven, monitors the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in Belgium in near real-time. Based on Belgian sequencing data generated on a weekly basis, the overall frequency of SARS-CoV-2 variants is plotted over time, providing a general overview of the variants that have been and are circulating in Belgium for the year 2023.

The second graph shows more details on the SARS-CoV-2 (sub)lineages that have been identified most often during the last few weeks.

A new variant of Omicron has taken hold in the US according to recent data from the CDC. It is estimated that over 90% of the newly confirmed cases are caused by the subvariant XBB.1.5 (classified as variant of interest by ECDC). Compared to XBB, this variant has an additional spike mutation S486P in the receptor binding domain. Preliminary studies suggest that XBB.1.5 exhibits the immune escape properties of XBB and has increased transmissibility compared to XBB. There are however currently no signals of increased infection severity. So far, 577 samples have been reported positive for XBB.1.5 in Belgium, and over 31,000 sequences in Europe. The evolution of this variant will be followed through time to re-evaluate the situation in Belgium, similar to the close monitoring of the variant called XBB.1.9*. More than 6,000 genomes have been deposited to GISAID for this lineage for Europe, with 208 detections for Belgium.


View the archive of the SARS-CoV-2 reports between January 2021 and November 2022.

Laatste aanpassing: 22 maart 2023