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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2494, 2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890179

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineage, but the second wave was overwhelmingly driven by the Alpha variant. Subsequently, an unheralded variant under monitoring, B.1.1.318, dominated transmission from April to June 2021 before being displaced by Delta variants, which were introduced into community transmission in May 2021. Mutational analysis indicated that variants that took hold in Ghana harboured transmission enhancing and immune escape spike substitutions. The observed rapid viral evolution demonstrates the potential for emergence of novel variants with greater mutational fitness as observed in other parts of the world.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
J Appl Microbiol ; 131(6): 2705-2714, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202334

ABSTRACT

The goal of good toilet hygiene is minimizing the potential for pathogen transmission. Control of odours is also socially important and believed to be a societal measure of cleanliness. Understanding the need for good cleaning and disinfecting is even more important today considering the potential spread of emerging pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 virus. While the flush toilet was a major advancement in achieving these objectives, exposure to pathogens can occur from failure to clean and disinfect areas within a restroom, as well as poor hand hygiene. The build-up of biofilm within a toilet bowl/urinal including sink can result in the persistence of pathogens and odours. During flushing, pathogens can be ejected from the toilet bowl/urinal/sink and be transmitted by inhalation and contaminated fomites. Use of automatic toilet bowl cleaners can reduce the number of microorganisms ejected during a flush. Salmonella bacteria can colonize the underside of the rim of toilets and persist up to 50 days. Pathogenic enteric bacteria appear in greater numbers in the biofilm found in toilets than in the water. Source tracking of bacteria in homes has demonstrated that during cleaning enteric bacteria are transferred from the toilet to the bathroom sinks and that these same bacteria colonize cleaning tools used in the restroom. Quantitative microbial risk assessment has shown that significant risks exist from both aerosols and fomites in restrooms. Cleaning with soaps and detergents without the use of disinfectants in public restrooms may spread bacteria and viruses throughout the restroom. Odours in restrooms are largely controlled by ventilation and flushing volume in toilet/urinals. However, this results in increased energy and water usage. Contamination of both the air and surfaces in restrooms is well documented. Better quantification of the risks of infection are needed as this will help determine what interventions will minimize these risks.


Subject(s)
Bathroom Equipment , COVID-19 , Humans , Hygiene , SARS-CoV-2 , Toilet Facilities
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