A history of the MetaSUB consortium: Tracking urban microbes around the globe


Krista A. Ryon, Weill Cornell Medicine
Braden T. Tierney, Weill Cornell Medicine
Alina Frolova, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Andre Kahles, ETH Zürich
Christelle Desnues, Institut Méditerranéen d'Océanologie
Christos Ouzounis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Cynthis Gibas, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Daniela Bezdan, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Youping Deng, John A. Burns School of Medicine
Ding He, Københavns Universitet
Emmanuel Dias-Neto, A.C.Camargo Cancer Center
Eran Elhaik, Lunds Universitet
Evan Afshin, Weill Cornell Medicine
George Grills, University of Miami
Gregorio Iraola, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo
Haruo Suzuki, Keio University
Johannes Werner, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Klas Udekwu, Uppsala Universitet
Lynn Schriml, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Malay Bhattacharyya, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
Manuela Oliveira, Universidade do Porto
Maria Mercedes Zambrano, CorpoGen
Nur Hazlin Hazrin-Chong, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Olayinka Osuolale, Elizade University
Paweł P. Łabaj, Uniwersytet Jagielloński
Prisca Tiasse, Uniwersytet Jagielloński
Sampath Rapuri, Los Alamos Medical Center
Silvia Borras, Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona
Sofya Pozdniakova, Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona
Tieliu Shi, East China Normal University
Ugur Sezerman, Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar Universitesi
Xavier Rodo, Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona
Zehra Hazal Sezer, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title



The MetaSUB Consortium, founded in 2015, is a global consortium with an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, scientists, bioinformaticians, engineers, and designers, with members from more than 100 countries across the globe. This network has continually collected samples from urban and rural sites including subways and transit systems, sewage systems, hospitals, and other environmental sampling. These collections have been ongoing since 2015 and have continued when possible, even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The consortium has optimized their workflow for the collection, isolation, and sequencing of DNA and RNA collected from these various sites and processing them for metagenomics analysis, including the identification of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Here, the Consortium describes its foundations, and its ongoing work to expand on this network and to focus its scope on the mapping, annotation, and prediction of emerging pathogens, mapping microbial evolution and antibiotic resistance, and the discovery of novel organisms and biosynthetic gene clusters.



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

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