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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337734

ABSTRACT

The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant led to a dramatic global epidemic wave following detection in South Africa in November, 2021. The Omicron lineage BA.1 was dominant and responsible for most domestic outbreaks during December 2021-January 2022, whilst other Omicron lineages including BA.2 accounted for the minority of global isolates. Here, we describe the Omicron wave in the Philippines by analysing genomic data. Our results identify the presence of both BA.1 and BA.2 lineages in the Philippines in December 2021, before cases surged in January 2022. We infer that only lineage BA.2 underwent sustained transmission in the country, with an estimated emergence around November 18th, 2021 [95% highest posterior density: November 6-28th], whilst despite multiple introductions BA.1 transmission remained limited. These results suggest the Philippines was one of the earliest areas affected by BA.2, and reiterate the importance of whole-genome sequencing for monitoring outbreaks.

2.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(5): e1010023, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833666

ABSTRACT

The availability of pathogen sequence data and use of genomic surveillance is rapidly increasing. Genomic tools and classification systems need updating to reflect this. Here, rabies virus is used as an example to showcase the potential value of updated genomic tools to enhance surveillance to better understand epidemiological dynamics and improve disease control. Previous studies have described the evolutionary history of rabies virus, however the resulting taxonomy lacks the definition necessary to identify incursions, lineage turnover and transmission routes at high resolution. Here we propose a lineage classification system based on the dynamic nomenclature used for SARS-CoV-2, defining a lineage by phylogenetic methods for tracking virus spread and comparing sequences across geographic areas. We demonstrate this system through application to the globally distributed Cosmopolitan clade of rabies virus, defining 96 total lineages within the clade, beyond the 22 previously reported. We further show how integration of this tool with a new rabies virus sequence data resource (RABV-GLUE) enables rapid application, for example, highlighting lineage dynamics relevant to control and elimination programmes, such as identifying importations and their sources, as well as areas of persistence and routes of virus movement, including transboundary incursions. This system and the tools developed should be useful for coordinating and targeting control programmes and monitoring progress as countries work towards eliminating dog-mediated rabies, as well as having potential for broader application to the surveillance of other viruses.


Subject(s)
Phylogeny , Rabies virus , Rabies , Animals , Dogs , Genomics , Rabies/virology , Rabies virus/genetics
5.
J Infect ; 83(1): 96-103, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198895

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients requiring haemodialysis are at increased risk of serious illness with SARS-CoV-2 infection. To improve the understanding of transmission risks in six Scottish renal dialysis units, we utilised the rapid whole-genome sequencing data generated by the COG-UK consortium. METHODS: We combined geographical, temporal and genomic sequence data from the community and hospital to estimate the probability of infection originating from within the dialysis unit, the hospital or the community using Bayesian statistical modelling and compared these results to the details of epidemiological investigations. RESULTS: Of 671 patients, 60 (8.9%) became infected with SARS-CoV-2, of whom 16 (27%) died. Within-unit and community transmission were both evident and an instance of transmission from the wider hospital setting was also demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Near-real-time SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data can facilitate tailored infection prevention and control measures, which can be targeted at reducing risk in these settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Hospitals , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects
6.
PLoS Biol ; 19(2): e3001091, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102372

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the underlying cause of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to a worldwide pandemic causing substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic devastation. In response, many laboratories have redirected attention to SARS-CoV-2, meaning there is an urgent need for tools that can be used in laboratories unaccustomed to working with coronaviruses. Here we report a range of tools for SARS-CoV-2 research. First, we describe a facile single plasmid SARS-CoV-2 reverse genetics system that is simple to genetically manipulate and can be used to rescue infectious virus through transient transfection (without in vitro transcription or additional expression plasmids). The rescue system is accompanied by our panel of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (against nearly every viral protein), SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolates, and SARS-CoV-2 permissive cell lines, which are all openly available to the scientific community. Using these tools, we demonstrate here that the controversial ORF10 protein is expressed in infected cells. Furthermore, we show that the promising repurposed antiviral activity of apilimod is dependent on TMPRSS2 expression. Altogether, our SARS-CoV-2 toolkit, which can be directly accessed via our website at https://mrcppu-covid.bio/, constitutes a resource with considerable potential to advance COVID-19 vaccine design, drug testing, and discovery science.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Reverse Genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Codon , Humans , Hydrazones/pharmacology , Mice , Morpholines/pharmacology , Open Reading Frames , Plasmids/genetics , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism
9.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(1): 112-122, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989837

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first diagnosed in Scotland on 1 March 2020. During the first month of the outbreak, 2,641 cases of COVID-19 led to 1,832 hospital admissions, 207 intensive care admissions and 126 deaths. We aimed to identify the source and number of introductions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into Scotland using a combined phylogenetic and epidemiological approach. Sequencing of 1,314 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from available patient samples enabled us to estimate that SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to Scotland on at least 283 occasions during February and March 2020. Epidemiological analysis confirmed that early introductions of SARS-CoV-2 originated from mainland Europe (the majority from Italy and Spain). We identified subsequent early outbreaks in the community, within healthcare facilities and at an international conference. Community transmission occurred after 2 March, 3 weeks before control measures were introduced. Earlier travel restrictions or quarantine measures, both locally and internationally, would have reduced the number of COVID-19 cases in Scotland. The risk of multiple reintroduction events in future waves of infection remains high in the absence of population immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spain/epidemiology , Travel/statistics & numerical data
10.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(1): 3-5, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-790981

ABSTRACT

Improvements in genetic and genomic technology have enabled field-deployable molecular laboratories and these have been deployed in a variety of epidemics that capture headlines. In this editorial, we highlight the importance of building physical and personnel capacity in low and middle income countries to deploy these technologies to improve diagnostics, understand transmission dynamics and provide feedback to endemic communities on actionable timelines. We describe our experiences with molecular field research on schistosomiasis, trypanosomiasis and rabies and urge the wider tropical medicine community to embrace these methods and help build capacity to benefit communities affected by endemic infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases , Schistosomiasis , Tropical Medicine , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Technology
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