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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.
Bioinformatics ; 2022 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922197

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: The ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 emphasizes the importance of genomic surveillance to understand the evolution of the virus, to monitor the viral population, and plan epidemiological responses. Detailed analysis, easy visualization, and intuitive filtering of the latest viral sequences are powerful for this purpose. We present CovRadar, a tool for genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. CovRadar consists of an analytical pipeline and a web application that enable the analysis and visualization of hundreds of thousands sequences. First, CovRadar extracts the regions of interest using local alignment, then builds a multiple sequence alignment, infers variants and consensus, and finally presents the results in an interactive app, making accessing and reporting simple, flexible and fast. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: CovRadar is freely accessible at https://covradar.net, its open-source code is available at https://gitlab.com/dacs-hpi/covradar. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

3.
Euro Surveill ; 27(22)2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879391

ABSTRACT

German national surveillance data analysis shows that hospitalisation odds associated with Omicron lineage BA.1 or BA.2 infections are up to 80% lower than with Delta infection, primarily in ≥ 35-year-olds. Hospitalised vaccinated Omicron cases' proportions (2.3% for both lineages) seemed lower than those of the unvaccinated (4.4% for both lineages). Independent of vaccination status, the hospitalisation frequency among cases with Delta seemed nearly threefold higher (8.3%) than with Omicron (3.0% for both lineages), suggesting that Omicron inherently causes less severe disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
4.
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.

5.
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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