GISAID is an initiative and open access database that enables rapid dissemination of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 virus data. The initiative, originally named the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), was proposed in 2006 to promote sharing of avian influenza virus data internationally. Later, the initiative was expanded and adopted to share data for all influenza viruses (renamed as the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data). GISAID has been instrumental for tracking influenza virus dynamics and emergence over the years. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world in 2020, the GISAID platform quickly became the mechanism of choice to share SARS-CoV-2 data for genomic surveillance. The ability to share published and unpublished data alike and adaptability to new emerging pathogens, such as the recent monkeypox virus (hMPXV), makes GISAID an indispensable resource for understanding how viruses emerge and spread during epidemics.
GISAID allows scientists and public health officials across geographical and political borders to share information and assess the extent of emerging pathogen threats and epidemics in a timely manner. Available data through GISAID includes:
- Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and hMPXV virus genetic sequences
- Clinical, epidemiological, and geographical data associated with human viruses
- Geographical and species-specific data associated with animal viruses
- Information and publications about zoonotic infections