In April 2021, the COVID-WGS-Surveillance System Sentinel-Labore was introduced. The aim of the project is to get an overview of the current situation in Austria regarding mutations or variants of SARS-CoV-2. For this purpose, random SARS-CoV-2 positive samples were selected nationwide and subjected to whole genome sequencing. For this project, one laboratory per state was selected and designated as a sentinel laboratory. In addition, a tenth laboratory was assigned to send in positive samples from visitors to Vienna Airport only.
Each week, the first ten positive SARS-CoV-2 reserve samples are sent to AGES Vienna by the selected laboratories. The samples are collected at the AGES Vienna Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Währinger Straße site, their RNA eluted and sent once a week to the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for whole genome sequencing. Subsequently, the results are transmitted to AGES, evaluated and published in the form of a weekly or monthly report.