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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 5587, 2022 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2042320

ABSTRACT

The choice of viral sequences used in genetic and epidemiological analysis is important as it can induce biases that detract from the value of these rich datasets. This raises questions about how a set of sequences should be chosen for analysis. We provide insights on these largely understudied problems using SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences from Hong Kong, China, and the Amazonas State, Brazil. We consider multiple sampling schemes which were used to estimate Rt and rt as well as related R0 and date of origin parameters. We find that both Rt and rt are sensitive to changes in sampling whilst R0 and the date of origin are relatively robust. Moreover, we find that analysis using unsampled datasets result in the most biased Rt and rt estimates for both our Hong Kong and Amazonas case studies. We highlight that sampling strategy choices may be an influential yet neglected component of sequencing analysis pipelines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genomics , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Elife ; 112022 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2040360

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 situation in Brazil is complex due to large differences in the shape and size of regional epidemics. Understanding these patterns is crucial to understand future outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 or other respiratory pathogens in the country. Methods: We tested 97,950 blood donation samples for IgG antibodies from March 2020 to March 2021 in 8 of Brazil's most populous cities. Residential postal codes were used to obtain representative samples. Weekly age- and sex-specific seroprevalence were estimated by correcting the crude seroprevalence by test sensitivity, specificity, and antibody waning. Results: The inferred attack rate of SARS-CoV-2 in December 2020, before the Gamma variant of concern (VOC) was dominant, ranged from 19.3% (95% credible interval [CrI] 17.5-21.2%) in Curitiba to 75.0% (95% CrI 70.8-80.3%) in Manaus. Seroprevalence was consistently smaller in women and donors older than 55 years. The age-specific infection fatality rate (IFR) differed between cities and consistently increased with age. The infection hospitalisation rate increased significantly during the Gamma-dominated second wave in Manaus, suggesting increased morbidity of the Gamma VOC compared to previous variants circulating in Manaus. The higher disease penetrance associated with the health system's collapse increased the overall IFR by a minimum factor of 2.91 (95% CrI 2.43-3.53). Conclusions: These results highlight the utility of blood donor serosurveillance to track epidemic maturity and demonstrate demographic and spatial heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2 spread. Funding: This work was supported by Itaú Unibanco 'Todos pela Saude' program; FAPESP (grants 18/14389-0, 2019/21585-0); Wellcome Trust and Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship 204311/Z/16/Z; the Gates Foundation (INV- 034540 and INV-034652); REDS-IV-P (grant HHSN268201100007I); the UK Medical Research Council (MR/S0195/1, MR/V038109/1); CAPES; CNPq (304714/2018-6); Fundação Faculdade de Medicina; Programa Inova Fiocruz-CE/Funcap - Edital 01/2020 Number: FIO-0167-00065.01.00/20 SPU N°06531047/2020; JBS - Fazer o bem faz bem.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Blood Donors , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017763

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The public health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has motivated a rapid search for potential therapeutics, with some key successes. However, the potential impact of different treatments, and consequently research and procurement priorities, have not been clear. METHODS: Using a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, COVID-19 disease and clinical care, we explore the public-health impact of different potential therapeutics, under a range of scenarios varying healthcare capacity, epidemic trajectories; and drug efficacy in the absence of supportive care. RESULTS: The impact of drugs like dexamethasone (delivered to the most critically-ill in hospital and whose therapeutic benefit is expected to depend on the availability of supportive care such as oxygen and mechanical ventilation) is likely to be limited in settings where healthcare capacity is lowest or where uncontrolled epidemics result in hospitals being overwhelmed. As such, it may avert 22% of deaths in high-income countries but only 8% in low-income countries (assuming R=1.35). Therapeutics for different patient populations (those not in hospital, early in the course of infection) and types of benefit (reducing disease severity or infectiousness, preventing hospitalisation) could have much greater benefits, particularly in resource-poor settings facing large epidemics. CONCLUSIONS: Advances in the treatment of COVID-19 to date have been focussed on hospitalised-patients and predicated on an assumption of adequate access to supportive care. Therapeutics delivered earlier in the course of infection that reduce the need for healthcare or reduce infectiousness could have significant impact, and research into their efficacy and means of delivery should be a priority.

4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(9)2022 Aug 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2006269

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 serologic surveys estimate the proportion of the population with antibodies against historical variants, which nears 100% in many settings. New approaches are required to fully exploit serosurvey data. Using a SARS-CoV-2 anti-Spike (S) protein chemiluminescent microparticle assay, we attained a semi-quantitative measurement of population IgG titers in serial cross-sectional monthly samples of blood donations across seven Brazilian state capitals (March 2021-November 2021). Using an ecological analysis, we assessed the contributions of prior attack rate and vaccination to antibody titer. We compared anti-S titer across the seven cities during the growth phase of the Delta variant and used this to predict the resulting age-standardized incidence of severe COVID-19 cases. We tested ~780 samples per month, per location. Seroprevalence rose to >95% across all seven capitals by November 2021. Driven by vaccination, mean antibody titer increased 16-fold over the study, with the greatest increases occurring in cities with the highest prior attack rates. Mean anti-S IgG was strongly correlated (adjusted R2 = 0.89) with the number of severe cases caused by Delta. Semi-quantitative anti-S antibody titers are informative about prior exposure and vaccination coverage and may also indicate the potential impact of future SARS-CoV-2 variants.

5.
Virus Evol ; 8(2): veac064, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1997080

ABSTRACT

The emergence and global dissemination of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) have been described as the main factor driving the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. In Brazil, the Gamma variant dominated the epidemiological scenario during the first period of 2021. Many Brazilian regions detected the Delta variant after its first description and documented its spread. To monitor the introduction and spread of VOC Delta, we performed Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) genotyping and genome sequencing in ten regional sentinel units from June to October 2021 in the State of Minas Gerais (MG). We documented the introduction and spread of Delta, comprising 70 per cent of the cases 8 weeks later. Comparing the viral loads of the Gamma and Delta dominance periods, we provide additional evidence that the latter is more transmissible. The spread and dominance of Delta did not culminate in the increase in cases and deaths, suggesting that the vaccination may have restrained the epidemic growth. Analysis of 224 novel Delta genomes revealed that Rio de Janeiro state was the primary source for disseminating this variant in the state of MG. We present the establishment of Delta, providing evidence of its enhanced transmissibility and showing that this variant shift did not aggravate the epidemiological scenario in a high immunity setting.

6.
Nature ; 610(7930): 154-160, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991629

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta (Pango lineage B.1.617.2) variant of concern spread globally, causing resurgences of COVID-19 worldwide1,2. The emergence of the Delta variant in the UK occurred on the background of a heterogeneous landscape of immunity and relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. Here we analyse 52,992 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from England together with 93,649 genomes from the rest of the world to reconstruct the emergence of Delta and quantify its introduction to and regional dissemination across England in the context of changing travel and social restrictions. Using analysis of human movement, contact tracing and virus genomic data, we find that the geographic focus of the expansion of Delta shifted from India to a more global pattern in early May 2021. In England, Delta lineages were introduced more than 1,000 times and spread nationally as non-pharmaceutical interventions were relaxed. We find that hotel quarantine for travellers reduced onward transmission from importations; however, the transmission chains that later dominated the Delta wave in England were seeded before travel restrictions were introduced. Increasing inter-regional travel within England drove the nationwide dissemination of Delta, with some cities receiving more than 2,000 observable lineage introductions from elsewhere. Subsequently, increased levels of local population mixing-and not the number of importations-were associated with the faster relative spread of Delta. The invasion dynamics of Delta depended on spatial heterogeneity in contact patterns, and our findings will inform optimal spatial interventions to reduce the transmission of current and future variants of concern, such as Omicron (Pango lineage B.1.1.529).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cities/epidemiology , Contact Tracing , England/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel/legislation & jurisprudence
8.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903475

ABSTRACT

Currently, there are no evidence-based treatment options for long COVID-19, and it is known that SARS-CoV-2 can persist in part of the infected patients, especially those with immunosuppression. Since there is a robust secretion of SARS-CoV-2-specific highly-neutralizing IgA antibodies in breast milk, and because this immunoglobulin plays an essential role against respiratory virus infection in mucosa cells, being, in addition, more potent in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 than IgG, here we report the clinical course of an NFκB-deficient patient chronically infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant, who, after a non-full effective treatment with plasma infusion, received breast milk from a vaccinated mother by oral route as treatment for COVID-19. After such treatment, the symptoms improved, and the patient was systematically tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Thus, we hypothesize that IgA and IgG secreted antibodies present in breast milk could be useful to treat persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunodeficient patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/complications , Eating , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , Milk, Human , NF-kappa B , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
9.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(8): 1112-1123.e3, 2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1894865

ABSTRACT

Although recombination is a feature of coronavirus evolution, previously detected recombinant lineages of SARS-CoV-2 have shown limited circulation thus far. Here, we present a detailed phylogenetic analysis of four SARS-CoV-2 lineages to investigate the possibility of virus recombination among them. Our analyses reveal well-supported phylogenetic differences between the Orf1ab region encoding viral non-structural proteins and the rest of the genome, including Spike (S) protein and remaining reading frames. By accounting for several deletions in NSP6, Orf3a, and S, we conclude that the B.1.628 major cluster, now designated as lineage XB, originated from a recombination event between viruses of B.1.631 and B.1.634 lineages. This scenario is supported by the spatiotemporal distribution of these lineages across the USA and Mexico during 2021, suggesting that the recombination event originated in this geographical region. This event raises important questions regarding the role and potential effects of recombination on SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
10.
Nat Med ; 28(7): 1476-1485, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830084

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant of concern has spread rapidly across Brazil since late 2020, causing substantial infection and death waves. Here we used individual-level patient records after hospitalization with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between 20 January 2020 and 26 July 2021 to document temporary, sweeping shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed the spread of Gamma across 14 state capitals, during which typically more than half of hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older died. We show that such extensive shocks in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed before the detection of Gamma. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we found that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates were primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We estimate that approximately half of the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals in the 14 cities could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population-wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 127, 2022 Feb 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690956

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The city of Manaus, north Brazil, was stricken by a second epidemic wave of SARS-CoV-2 despite high seroprevalence estimates, coinciding with the emergence of the Gamma (P.1) variant. Reinfections were postulated as a partial explanation for the second surge. However, accurate calculation of reinfection rates is difficult when stringent criteria as two time-separated RT-PCR tests and/or genome sequencing are required. To estimate the proportion of reinfections caused by Gamma during the second wave in Manaus and the protection conferred by previous infection, we identified anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody boosting in repeat blood donors as a mean to infer reinfection. METHODS: We tested serial blood samples from unvaccinated repeat blood donors in Manaus for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies using two assays that display waning in early convalescence, enabling the detection of reinfection-induced boosting. Donors were required to have three or more donations, being at least one during each epidemic wave. We propose a strict serological definition of reinfection (reactivity boosting following waning like a V-shaped curve in both assays or three spaced boostings), probable (two separate boosting events) and possible (reinfection detected by only one assay) reinfections. The serial samples were used to divide donors into six groups defined based on the inferred sequence of infection and reinfection with non-Gamma and Gamma variants. RESULTS: From 3655 repeat blood donors, 238 met all inclusion criteria, and 223 had enough residual sample volume to perform both serological assays. We found 13.6% (95% CI 7.0-24.5%) of all presumed Gamma infections that were observed in 2021 were reinfections. If we also include cases of probable or possible reinfections, these percentages increase respectively to 22.7% (95% CI 14.3-34.2%) and 39.3% (95% CI 29.5-50.0%). Previous infection conferred a protection against reinfection of 85.3% (95% CI 71.3-92.7%), decreasing to respectively 72.5% (95% CI 54.7-83.6%) and 39.5% (95% CI 14.1-57.8%) if probable and possible reinfections are included. CONCLUSIONS: Reinfection by Gamma is common and may play a significant role in epidemics where Gamma is prevalent, highlighting the continued threat variants of concern pose even to settings previously hit by substantial epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Blood Donors , Brazil/epidemiology , Humans , Reinfection , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
Lancet Regional Health. Americas ; 5:100119-100119, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1652110

ABSTRACT

Background Brazil is one of the countries worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with over 20 million cases and 557,000 deaths reported by August 2021. Comparison of real-time local COVID-19 data between areas is essential for understanding transmission, measuring the effects of interventions, and predicting the course of the epidemic, but are often challenging due to different population sizes and structures. Methods We describe the development of a new app for the real-time visualisation of COVID-19 data in Brazil at the municipality level. In the CLIC-Brazil app, daily updates of case and death data are downloaded, age standardised and used to estimate the effective reproduction number (Rt). We show how such platforms can perform real-time regression analyses to identify factors associated with the rate of initial spread and early reproduction number. We also use survival methods to predict the likelihood of occurrence of a new peak of COVID-19 incidence. Findings After an initial introduction in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states in early March 2020, the epidemic spread to northern states and then to highly populated coastal regions and the Central-West. Municipalities with higher metrics of social development experienced earlier arrival of COVID-19 (decrease of 11·1 days [95% CI:8.9,13.2] in the time to arrival for each 10% increase in the social development index). Differences in the initial epidemic intensity (mean Rt) were largely driven by geographic location and the date of local onset. Interpretation This study demonstrates that platforms that monitor, standardise and analyse the epidemiological data at a local level can give useful real-time insights into outbreak dynamics that can be used to better adapt responses to the current and future pandemics. Funding This project was supported by a Medical Research Council UK (MRC-UK) -São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) CADDE partnership award (MR/S0195/1 and FAPESP 18/14389-0)

13.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(3): 709-712, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596439

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant has been hypothesized to cause more severe illness than previous variants, especially in children. Successive SARS-CoV-2 IgG serosurveys in the Brazilian Amazon showed that age-specific attack rates and proportions of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections were similar before and after Gamma variant emergence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Brazil/epidemiology , Child , Humans
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): 2045-2054, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunity after dengue virus (DENV) infection has been suggested to cross-protect from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and mortality. METHODS: We tested whether serologically proven prior DENV infection diagnosed in September-October 2019, before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and clinically apparent COVID-19 over the next 13 months in a population-based cohort in Amazonian Brazil. Mixed-effects multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of infection and disease, adjusting for potential individual and household-level confounders. Virus genomes from 14 local SARS-CoV-2 isolates were obtained using whole-genome sequencing. RESULTS: Anti-DENV immunoglobulin G (IgG) was found in 37.0% of 1285 cohort participants (95% confidence interval [CI]: 34.3% to 39.7%) in 2019, with 10.4 (95% CI: 6.7-15.5) seroconversion events per 100 person-years during the follow-up. In 2020, 35.2% of the participants (95% CI: 32.6% to 37.8%) had anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and 57.1% of the 448 SARS-CoV-2 seropositives (95% CI: 52.4% to 61.8%) reported clinical manifestations at the time of infection. Participants aged >60 years were twice more likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 than children under 5 years. Locally circulating SARS-CoV-2 isolates were assigned to the B.1.1.33 lineage. Contrary to the cross-protection hypothesis, prior DENV infection was associated with twice the risk of clinically apparent COVID-19 upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, with P values between .025 and .039 after adjustment for identified confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Higher risk of clinically apparent COVID-19 among individuals with prior dengue has important public health implications for communities sequentially exposed to DENV and SARS-CoV-2 epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dengue , Brazil/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Dengue/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 10 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481018

ABSTRACT

A SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC) has been associated with increased transmissibility, hospitalization, and mortality. This study aimed to explore the factors associated with B.1.1.7 VOC infection in the context of vaccination. On March 2021, we detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal samples from 14 of 22 individuals vaccinated with a single-dose of ChAdOx1 (outbreak A, n = 26), and 22 of 42 of individuals with two doses of the CoronaVac vaccine (outbreak B, n = 52) for breakthrough infection rates for ChAdOx1 of 63.6% and 52.4% for CoronaVac. The outbreaks were caused by two independent clusters of the B.1.1.7 VOC. The serum of PCR-positive symptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals had ~1.8-3.4-fold more neutralizing capacity against B.1.1.7 compared to the serum of asymptomatic individuals. These data based on exploratory analysis suggest that the B.1.1.7 variant can infect individuals partially immunized with a single dose of an adenovirus-vectored vaccine or fully immunized with two doses of an inactivated vaccine, although the vaccines were able to reduce the risk of severe disease and death caused by this VOC, even in the elderly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Adenoviridae , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cohort Studies , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Female , Genetic Vectors , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral , Vaccines, Inactivated , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
17.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(4)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476465

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Little evidence exists on the differential health effects of COVID-19 on disadvantaged population groups. Here we characterise the differential risk of hospitalisation and death in São Paulo state, Brazil, and show how vulnerability to COVID-19 is shaped by socioeconomic inequalities. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study using hospitalised severe acute respiratory infections notified from March to August 2020 in the Sistema de Monitoramento Inteligente de São Paulo database. We examined the risk of hospitalisation and death by race and socioeconomic status using multiple data sets for individual-level and spatiotemporal analyses. We explained these inequalities according to differences in daily mobility from mobile phone data, teleworking behaviour and comorbidities. RESULTS: Throughout the study period, patients living in the 40% poorest areas were more likely to die when compared with patients living in the 5% wealthiest areas (OR: 1.60, 95% CI 1.48 to 1.74) and were more likely to be hospitalised between April and July 2020 (OR: 1.08, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.12). Black and Pardo individuals were more likely to be hospitalised when compared with White individuals (OR: 1.41, 95% CI 1.37 to 1.46; OR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.28, respectively), and were more likely to die (OR: 1.13, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.19; 1.07, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.10, respectively) between April and July 2020. Once hospitalised, patients treated in public hospitals were more likely to die than patients in private hospitals (OR: 1.40%, 95% CI 1.34% to 1.46%). Black individuals and those with low education attainment were more likely to have one or more comorbidities, respectively (OR: 1.29, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.39; 1.36, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.45). CONCLUSIONS: Low-income and Black and Pardo communities are more likely to die with COVID-19. This is associated with differential access to quality healthcare, ability to self-isolate and the higher prevalence of comorbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral , Poverty Areas , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Socioeconomic Factors
18.
Virus Evol ; 7(2): veab051, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412522

ABSTRACT

Characterisation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) genetic diversity through space and time can reveal trends in virus importation and domestic circulation and permit the exploration of questions regarding the early transmission dynamics. Here, we present a detailed description of SARS-CoV-2 genomic epidemiology in Ecuador, one of the hardest hit countries during the early stages of the coronavirus-19 pandemic. We generated and analysed 160 whole genome sequences sampled from all provinces of Ecuador in 2020. Molecular clock and phylogeographic analysis of these sequences in the context of global SARS-CoV-2 diversity enable us to identify and characterise individual transmission lineages within Ecuador, explore their spatiotemporal distributions, and consider their introduction and domestic circulation. Our results reveal a pattern of multiple international importations across the country, with apparent differences between key provinces. Transmission lineages were mostly introduced before the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions, with differential degrees of persistence and national dissemination.

20.
Science ; 373(6557): 889-895, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322770

ABSTRACT

Understanding the causes and consequences of the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern is crucial to pandemic control yet difficult to achieve because they arise in the context of variable human behavior and immunity. We investigated the spatial invasion dynamics of lineage B.1.1.7 by jointly analyzing UK human mobility, virus genomes, and community-based polymerase chain reaction data. We identified a multistage spatial invasion process in which early B.1.1.7 growth rates were associated with mobility and asymmetric lineage export from a dominant source location, enhancing the effects of B.1.1.7's increased intrinsic transmissibility. We further explored how B.1.1.7 spread was shaped by nonpharmaceutical interventions and spatial variation in previous attack rates. Our findings show that careful accounting of the behavioral and epidemiological context within which variants of concern emerge is necessary to interpret correctly their observed relative growth rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Communicable Disease Control , Genome, Viral , Humans , Incidence , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , Travel , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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