Public Health Surveillance

Physician providing public health related information to patient

What is public health surveillance?

Public health surveillance is a vital tool for understanding the health of a population and informing public health decision-making. It involves the systematic collection and analysis of health-related data, which can be used to identify trends and patterns, assess the effectiveness of interventions, and plan and evaluate public health programs.

A central goal of public health is to achieve equity within our communities. By concentrating on community-wide prevention and overall health, public health improves our quality of life, saves money for our communities, helps children thrive, and reduces human suffering.

Lab technician testing samples.

How does genomics contribute to public health surveillance?

Genomics can maintain public health and wellness by detecting and characterizing new, emerging, and circulating pathogens. By tracking and monitoring infectious agent transmission and disease spread within a community, we can better understand pathogen behavior (infectivity and pathogenicity) and map the evolution of variants. This will ultimately aid the development of diagnostics and design of therapeutic vaccines and treatments.

Public health surveillance applications

Improve infectious disease epidemiology

Provide data to track pathogens over time across geographical regions.

Discover pathogens

Identify extremely rare or newly emergent pathogens causing disease.

Detect variants

Determine and classify pathogen strains.

Identify antimicrobial resistance

Identify the existence of known or discover new antimicrobial resistance markers to inform future treatment strategies.

Pandemic preparedness

Advance early pathogen detection, improve outbreak responses, and support research for emerging pathogens.

Public health surveillance use cases

Using a sequencer to detect coronavirus
Coronavirus sequencing

Learn about highly sensitive NGS approaches to identify novel coronavirus mutations, track transmission, study viral genetics, and more.

Scientist surveying genomic samples under microscope
Genomic surveillance

NGS supports effective genomic surveillance strategies to help reduce transmission and infection.

Scientists standing infront of an Illumina sequencer used for water surveillance
Wastewater surveillance

Wastewater surveillance is useful for community-level monitoring of emerging infectious diseases, mutation tracking, and variant trend tracking.

Doctor checking a patients lungs for signs of TB
Tuberculosis surveillance

NGS testing can provide critical surveillance data about resistance to different anti-TB drugs and is important for guiding TB control strategies.

Related Products

Viral Surveillance Panel

Obtain whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data that can characterize 66 viruses that are of high risk to public health, including SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, Monkeypox Virus, and Poliovirus.


A high-throughput, next-generation sequencing test for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and enables virus genome analysis in research use.

Respiratory Pathogen ID/AMR Enrichment Panel Kit

A next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based respiratory pathogen panel that delivers highly sensitive, comprehensive pathogen detection and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) insights.

Urinary Pathogen ID/AMR Enrichment Kit

A next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel that detects and quantifies over 170 common, less common, challenging-to-grow, and frequently missed uropathogens.

Respiratory Virus Oligo Panel

A highly sensitive NGS panel to detect and characterize common respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 strains, with comprehensive, rapid target enrichment sequencing.

Illumina RNA Prep with Enrichment

Achieve rapid, targeted interrogation of an expansive number of target genes with exceptional capture efficiency and coverage uniformity.

Related Content

Can genomic surveillance detect the next pandemic before it’s too late?

Watch Dr. James Wood and Dr. William Haseltine discuss the current state of infectious disease surveillance, its strengths, and shortcomings.

Illumina sequencing of clinical samples for virus detection in a public health laboratory

Read how NGS-based methods are revolutionizing high-throughput sequencing for surveillance.

A genomics-based approach to global public health surveillance

This downloadable brochure outlines how genomics plays a role in public health surveillance and the tools used for various surveillance methods.

Fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.