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Infection ; 50(3): 761-766, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712370


BACKGROUND: Five SARS-CoV-2 variants are currently considered as variants of concern (VOC). Omicron was declared a VOC at the end of November 2021. Based on different diagnostic methods, the occurrence of Omicron was reported by 52 countries worldwide on December 7 2021. First notified by South Africa with alarming reports on increasing infection rates, this new variant was soon suspected to replace the currently pre-dominating Delta variant leading to further infection waves worldwide. METHODS: Using VOC PCR screening and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis of selected samples, we investigated the circulation of Omicron in the German federal state Bavaria. For this, we analyzed SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data from our laboratory generated from calendar week (CW) 01 to 49/2021. RESULTS: So far, we have detected 69 Omicron cases in our laboratory from CW 47-49/2021 using RT-qPCR followed by melting curve analysis. The first 16 cases were analyzed by NGS and all were confirmed as Omicron. CONCLUSION: Our data strongly support no circulation of the new Omicron variant before CW 47/2021.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e226, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537267


The corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began in Wuhan, China, and quickly spread around the world. The pandemic overlapped with two consecutive influenza seasons (2019/2020 and 2020/2021). This provided the opportunity to study community circulation of influenza viruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in outpatients with acute respiratory infections during these two seasons within the Bavarian Influenza Sentinel (BIS) in Bavaria, Germany. From September to March, oropharyngeal swabs collected at BIS were analysed for influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2 by real-time polymerase chain reaction. In BIS 2019/2020, 1376 swabs were tested for influenza viruses. The average positive rate was 37.6%, with a maximum of over 60% (in January). The predominant influenza viruses were Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (n = 202), Influenza A(H3N2) (n = 144) and Influenza B Victoria lineage (n = 129). In all, 610 of these BIS swabs contained sufficient material to retrospectively test for SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable in any of these swabs. In BIS 2020/2021, 470 swabs were tested for influenza viruses and 457 for SARS-CoV-2. Only three swabs (0.6%) were positive for Influenza, while SARS-CoV-2 was found in 30 swabs (6.6%). We showed that no circulation of SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in BIS during the 2019/2020 influenza season, while virtually no influenza viruses were found in BIS 2020/2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , COVID-19/diagnosis , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Oropharynx/virology , Orthomyxoviridae/classification , Orthomyxoviridae/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral/genetics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons