Authors: Ziyaad Parker, Suresh Maslamoney, Ayton Meintjes, Gerrit Botha, Sumir Panji, Scott Hazelhurst, Nicola Mulder
Human genomic data are large and complex, and require adequate infrastructure for secure storage and transfer. The NIH and The Wellcome Trust have funded multiple projects on genomic research, including the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, and data are required to be deposited into the public domain.
The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) is a repository for sequence and genotype data where the data access is controlled by access committees. Access is determined by a formal application procedure for the purpose of secure storage and distribution, and must be in line with the informed consent of the study participants.
H3Africa researchers based in Africa and generating their own data can benefit tremendously from the data sharing capabilities of the internet by using the appropriate technologies.
The H3Africa Data Archive is an effort between the H3Africa data generating projects, H3ABioNet and the EGA to store and submit genomic data to public repositories. H3ABioNet maintains the security of the H3Africa Data Archive, ensures ethical security compliance, supports users with data submission and facilitates the data transfer.
The goal is to ensure efficient data flow between researchers, the archive and the EGA or other public repositories.
To comply with the H3Africa data sharing and release policy, nine months after the data is in secure storage, H3ABioNet converts the data into an XML format ready for submission to EGA. This article describes the infrastructure that has been developed for African human genomic data management.