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Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327450


ABSTRACT Background SARS-CoV-2 emerged in the UK in January 2020 and spread rapidly in different communities. The UK Government introduced a series of measures including national ‘lockdowns’ and regional ‘tiers’ to control virus transmission. As the outbreak continued, new variants were detected through two national disease monitoring programmes. Longitudinal records of their emergence and spread provide information with which we investigate factors affecting disease spread and the effectiveness of interventions. Methods We analysed the spatio-temporal dynamics of positive tests for COVID-19 on Teesside, UK throughout 2020. We investigated putative risk factors for infection, specifically, socio-economic deprivation, weather, and government interventions (lockdown). We used a combination of disease mapping and mixed-effect modelling to investigate the dynamics of positive tests from two sampling strategies and the spread of particular variants of the virus as they emerged on Teesside. Results SARS-CoV-2 spread was related to the extent of social deprivation, lockdown interventions and weather conditions over the period of the study. Cases in the first wave appeared to be associated with the first lockdown, but interventions had less impact on the second wave. Conclusions There was spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the distribution of different lineages, with spread faster in some lineages than others and varying across the region. Positive tests within region appeared to be related to levels of socio-economic deprivation. The interventions appeared to have different effects in the two waves of disease, and were associated with reduced numbers of records in the first wave, but having no effect during the second.

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Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326811


The scale of data produced during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been unprecedented, with more than 5 million sequences shared publicly at the time of writing. This wealth of sequence data provides important context for interpreting local outbreaks. However, placing sequences of interest into national and international context is difficult given the size of the global dataset. Often outbreak investigations and genomic surveillance efforts require running similar analyses again and again on the latest dataset and producing reports. We developed civet (cluster investigation and virus epidemiology tool) to aid these routine analyses and facilitate virus outbreak investigation and surveillance. Civet can place sequences of interest in the local context of background diversity, resolving the query into different 'catchments' and presenting the phylogenetic results alongside metadata in an interactive, distributable report. Civet can be used on a fine scale for clinical outbreak investigation, for local surveillance and cluster discovery, and to routinely summarise the virus diversity circulating on a national level. Civet reports have helped researchers and public health bodies feedback genomic information in the appropriate context within a timeframe that is useful for public health.