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Mol Omics ; 18(6): 490-505, 2022 07 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830193


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a major global health concern. This virus infects the upper respiratory tract and causes pneumonia-like symptoms. So far, few studies have shown alterations in nasopharyngeal (NP) microbial diversity, enrichment of opportunistic pathogens and their role in co-infections during respiratory infections. Therefore, we hypothesized that microbial diversity changes, with increase in the population of opportunistic pathogens, during SARS-CoV2 infection in the nasopharynx, which may be involved in co-infection in COVID-19 patients. The 16S rRNA variable regions, V1-V9, of NP samples of control and COVID-19 (symptomatic and asymptomatic) patients were sequenced using the Oxford Nanopore™ technology. Comprehensive bioinformatics analysis for determining alpha/beta diversities, non-metric multidimensional scaling, correlation studies, canonical correspondence analysis, linear discriminate analysis, and dysbiosis index were used to analyze the control and COVID-19-specific NP microbiomes. We observed significant dysbiosis in the COVID-19 NP microbiome with an increase in the abundance of opportunistic pathogens at genus and species levels in asymptomatic/symptomatic patients. The significant abundance of Mycobacteria spp. and Mycoplasma spp. in symptomatic patients suggests their association and role in co-infections in COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, we found strong correlation of enrichment of Mycobacteria and Mycoplasma with the occurrences of chest pain and fever in symptomatic COVID-19 patients. This is the first study from India to show the abundance of Mycobacteria and Mycoplasma opportunistic pathogens in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients and their relationship with symptoms, indicating the possibility of co-infections.

COVID-19 , Coinfection , Mycobacterium , Mycoplasma , Coinfection/epidemiology , Dysbiosis , Humans , Nasopharynx , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(3): 1551-1561, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636373


During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, large-scale genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been useful in tracking its spread and in identifying variants of concern (VOC). Viral and host factors could contribute to variability within a host that can be captured in next-generation sequencing reads as intra-host single nucleotide variations (iSNVs). Analysing 1347 samples collected till June 2020, we recorded 16 410 iSNV sites throughout the SARS-CoV-2 genome. We found ∼42% of the iSNV sites to be reported as SNVs by 30 September 2020 in consensus sequences submitted to GISAID, which increased to ∼80% by 30th June 2021. Following this, analysis of another set of 1774 samples sequenced in India between November 2020 and May 2021 revealed that majority of the Delta (B.1.617.2) and Kappa (B.1.617.1) lineage-defining variations appeared as iSNVs before getting fixed in the population. Besides, mutations in RdRp as well as RNA-editing by APOBEC and ADAR deaminases seem to contribute to the differential prevalence of iSNVs in hosts. We also observe hyper-variability at functionally critical residues in Spike protein that could alter the antigenicity and may contribute to immune escape. Thus, tracking and functional annotation of iSNVs in ongoing genome surveillance programs could be important for early identification of potential variants of concern and actionable interventions.

Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , APOBEC-1 Deaminase/genetics , Adenosine Deaminase/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Databases, Genetic , Immune Evasion/genetics , India/epidemiology , Phylogeny , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294790


Vaccine breakthrough infections pose a vast challenge in the eradication of the COVID pandemic situation. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern infecting the immunized individuals indicate an ongoing battle between host immunity and natural selection of the pathogen. Our report sheds light on the prominent SARS-CoV-2 variations observed in the isolates from AZD1222/Covishield and BBV152/Covaxin vaccinated subjects.