Computational strategies to combat COVID-19: Useful tools to accelerate SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus research

Franziska Hufsky, Kevin Lamkiewicz, Alexandre Almeida, Abdel Aouacheria, Cecilia Arighi, Alex Bateman, Jan Baumbach, Niko Beerenwinkel, Christian Brandt, Marco Cacciabue, Sara Chuguransky, Oliver Drechsel, Robert D. Finn, Adrian Fritz, Stephan Fuchs, Georges Hattab, Anne Christin Hauschild, Dominik Heider, Marie Hoffmann, Martin HölzerStefan Hoops, Lars Kaderali, Ioanna Kalvari, Max Von Kleist, Renó Kmiecinski, Denise Kühnert, Gorka Lasso, Pieter Libin, Markus List, Hannah F. Löchel, Maria J. Martin, Roman Martin, Julian Matschinske, Alice C. McHardy, Pedro Mendes, Jaina Mistry, Vincent Navratil, Eric P. Nawrocki, Aíne Niamh O'Toole, Nancy Ontiveros-Palacios, Anton I. Petrov, Guillermo Rangel-Pineros, Nicole Redaschi, Susanne Reimering, Knut Reinert, Alejandro Reyes, Lorna Richardson, David L. Robertson, Sepideh Sadegh, Joshua B. Singer, Kristof Theys, Chris Upton, Marius Welzel, Lowri Williams, Manja Marz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel virus of the family Coronaviridae. The virus causes the infectious disease COVID-19. The biology of coronaviruses has been studied for many years. However, bioinformatics tools designed explicitly for SARS-CoV-2 have only recently been developed as a rapid reaction to the need for fast detection, understanding and treatment of COVID-19. To control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance to get insight into the evolution and pathogenesis of the virus. In this review, we cover bioinformatics workflows and tools for the routine detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the reliable analysis of sequencing data, the tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluation of containment measures, the study of coronavirus evolution, the discovery of potential drug targets and development of therapeutic strategies. For each tool, we briefly describe its use case and how it advances research specifically for SARS-CoV-2. All tools are free to use and available online, either through web applications or public code repositories. Contact:[email protected]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-663
Number of pages22
JournalBriefings in Bioinformatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • drug design
  • epidemiology
  • sequencing
  • tools
  • virus bioinformatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Molecular Biology


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