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2.
Nat Med ; 28(7): 1476-1485, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830084

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant of concern has spread rapidly across Brazil since late 2020, causing substantial infection and death waves. Here we used individual-level patient records after hospitalization with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between 20 January 2020 and 26 July 2021 to document temporary, sweeping shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed the spread of Gamma across 14 state capitals, during which typically more than half of hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older died. We show that such extensive shocks in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed before the detection of Gamma. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we found that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates were primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We estimate that approximately half of the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals in the 14 cities could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population-wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792408

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused immeasurable impacts on the health and socioeconomic system. The real-time identification and characterization of new Variants of Concern (VOCs) are critical to comprehend its emergence and spread worldwide. In this sense, we carried out a national epidemiological surveillance program in Brazil from April to October 2021. Genotyping by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and sequencing were performed to monitor the dynamics and dissemination of VOCs in samples from 15 federative units. Delta VOC was first detected on June 2021 and took sixteen weeks to replace Gamma. To assess the transmissibility potential of Gamma and Delta VOCs, we studied the dynamics of RT-qPCR cycle threshold (Ct) score in the dominance period of each variant. The data suggest that Delta VOC has a higher transmission rate than Gamma VOC. We also compared relevant symptom patterns in individuals infected with both VOCs. The Delta-infected subjects were less likely to have low oxygen saturation or fatigue, altered results on chest computed tomography, and a propensity for altered X-rays. Altogether, we described the replacement of Gamma by Delta, Delta enhanced transmissibility, and differences in symptom presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Virus Evol ; 7(2): veab078, 2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467409

ABSTRACT

Long-term infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents a challenge to virus dispersion and the control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The reason why some people have prolonged infection and how the virus persists for so long are still not fully understood. Recent studies suggested that the accumulation of intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) over the course of the infection might play an important role in persistence as well as emergence of mutations of concern. For this reason, we aimed to investigate the intra-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 during prolonged infection. Thirty-three patients who remained reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positive in the nasopharynx for on average 18 days from the symptoms onset were included in this study. Whole-genome sequences were obtained for each patient at two different time points. Phylogenetic, populational, and computational analyses of viral sequences were consistent with prolonged infection without evidence of coinfection in our cohort. We observed an elevated within-host genomic diversity at the second time point samples positively correlated with cycle threshold (Ct) values (lower viral load). Direct transmission was also confirmed in a small cluster of healthcare professionals that shared the same workplace by the presence of common iSNVs. A differential accumulation of missense variants between the time points was detected targeting crucial structural and non-structural proteins such as Spike and helicase. Interestingly, longitudinal acquisition of iSNVs in Spike protein coincided in many cases with SARS-CoV-2 reactive and predicted T cell epitopes. We observed a distinguishing pattern of mutations over the course of the infection mainly driven by increasing A→U and decreasing G→A signatures. G→A mutations may be associated with RNA-editing enzyme activities; therefore, the mutational profiles observed in our analysis were suggestive of innate immune mechanisms of the host cell defense. Therefore, we unveiled a dynamic and complex landscape of host and pathogen interaction during prolonged infection of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that the host's innate immunity shapes the increase of intra-host diversity. Our findings may also shed light on possible mechanisms underlying the emergence and spread of new variants resistant to the host immune response as recently observed in COVID-19 pandemic.

5.
Genet Mol Biol ; 44(1 Suppl 1): e20200484, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374173

ABSTRACT

For human/SARS-CoV-2 interactome genes ACE2, TMPRSS2 and BSG, there is a convincing evidence of association in Asians with influenza-induced SARS for TMPRSS2-rs2070788, tag-SNP of the eQTL rs383510. This case illustrates the importance of population genetics and of sequencing data in the design of genetic association studies in different human populations: the high linkage disequilibrium (LD) between rs2070788 and rs383510 is Asian-specific. Leveraging on a combination of genotyping and sequencing data for Native Americans (neglected in genetic studies), we show that while their frequencies of the Asian tag-SNP rs2070788 is, surprisingly, the highest worldwide, it is not in LD with the eQTL rs383510, that therefore, should be directly genotyped in genetic association studies of SARS in populations with Native American ancestry.

6.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244148

ABSTRACT

The emergence of diverse lineages harboring mutations with functional significance and potentially enhanced transmissibility imposes an increased difficulty on the containment of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic [...].


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/classification
7.
Science ; 372(6544): 815-821, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186201

ABSTRACT

Cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020 despite previously high levels of infection. Genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021 revealed the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern. Lineage P.1 acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K, and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) receptor. Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around mid-November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.7- to 2.4-fold more transmissible and that previous (non-P.1) infection provides 54 to 79% of the protection against infection with P.1 that it provides against non-P.1 lineages. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of variants of concern, which may exhibit increased transmissibility and/or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic responsiveness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Brazil/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Load
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