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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(Supplement_1): S110-S120, 2022 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992148

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Comprehensive pathogen genomic surveillance represents a powerful tool to complement and advance precision vaccinology. The emergence of the Alpha variant in December 2020 and the resulting efforts to track the spread of this and other severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern led to an expansion of genomic sequencing activities in Germany. METHODS: At Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German National Institute of Public Health, we established the Integrated Molecular Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 (IMS-SC2) network to perform SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance at the national scale, SARS-CoV-2-positive samples from laboratories distributed across Germany regularly undergo whole-genome sequencing at RKI. RESULTS: We report analyses of 3623 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected between December 2020 and December 2021, of which 3282 were randomly sampled. All variants of concern were identified in the sequenced sample set, at ratios equivalent to those in the 100-fold larger German GISAID sequence dataset from the same time period. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed variant assignments. Multiple mutations of concern emerged during the observation period. To model vaccine effectiveness in vitro, we employed authentic-virus neutralization assays, confirming that both the Beta and Zeta variants are capable of immune evasion. The IMS-SC2 sequence dataset facilitated an estimate of the SARS-CoV-2 incidence based on genetic evolution rates. Together with modeled vaccine efficacies, Delta-specific incidence estimation indicated that the German vaccination campaign contributed substantially to a deceleration of the nascent German Delta wave. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 molecular and genomic surveillance may inform public health policies including vaccination strategies and enable a proactive approach to controlling coronavirus disease 2019 spread as the virus evolves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccinology
2.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e141, 2022 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956390

ABSTRACT

In daycare centres, the close contact of children with other children and employees favours the transmission of infections. The majority of children <6 years attend daycare programmes in Germany, but the role of daycare centres in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is unclear. We investigated the transmission risk in daycare centres and the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to associated households. 30 daycare groups with at least one recent laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 case were enrolled in the study (10/2020-06/2021). Close contact persons within daycare and households were examined over a 12-day period (repeated SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests, genetic sequencing of viruses, symptom diary). Households were interviewed to gain comprehensive information on each outbreak. We determined primary cases for all daycare groups. The number of secondary cases varied considerably between daycare groups. The pooled secondary attack rate (SAR) across all 30 daycare centres was 9.6%. The SAR tended to be higher when the Alpha variant was detected (15.9% vs. 5.1% with evidence of wild type). The household SAR was 53.3%. Exposed daycare children were less likely to get infected with SARS-CoV-2 than employees (7.7% vs. 15.5%). Containment measures in daycare programmes are critical to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, especially to avoid spread to associated households.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312777

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel virus of the family Coronaviridae. The virus causes the infectious disease COVID-19. The biology of coronaviruses has been studied for many years. However, bioinformatics tools designed explicitly for SARS-CoV-2 have only recently been developed as a rapid reaction to the need for fast detection, understanding, and treatment of COVID-19. To control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance to get insight into the evolution and pathogenesis of the virus. In this review, we cover bioinformatics workflows and tools for the routine detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the reliable analysis of sequencing data, the tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluation of containment measures, the study of coronavirus evolution, the discovery of potential drug targets and development of therapeutic strategies. For each tool, we briefly describe its use case and how it advances research specifically for SARS-CoV-2. All tools are freely available online, either through web applications or public code repositories.

4.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 642-663, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343629

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is a novel virus of the family Coronaviridae. The virus causes the infectious disease COVID-19. The biology of coronaviruses has been studied for many years. However, bioinformatics tools designed explicitly for SARS-CoV-2 have only recently been developed as a rapid reaction to the need for fast detection, understanding and treatment of COVID-19. To control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance to get insight into the evolution and pathogenesis of the virus. In this review, we cover bioinformatics workflows and tools for the routine detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the reliable analysis of sequencing data, the tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluation of containment measures, the study of coronavirus evolution, the discovery of potential drug targets and development of therapeutic strategies. For each tool, we briefly describe its use case and how it advances research specifically for SARS-CoV-2. All tools are free to use and available online, either through web applications or public code repositories. Contact:evbc@unj-jena.de.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Computational Biology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Biomedical Research , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
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