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1.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1733144

ABSTRACT

In this study, we report the first case of intra-host SARS-CoV-2 recombination during a coinfection by the variants of concern (VOC) AY.33 (Delta) and P.1 (Gamma) supported by sequencing reads harboring a mosaic of lineage-defining mutations. By using next-generation sequencing reads intersecting regions that simultaneously overlap lineage-defining mutations from Gamma and Delta, we were able to identify a total of six recombinant regions across the SARS-CoV-2 genome within a sample. Four of them mapped in the spike gene and two in the nucleocapsid gene. We detected mosaic reads harboring a combination of lineage-defining mutations from each VOC. To our knowledge, this is the first report of intra-host RNA-RNA recombination between two lineages of SARS-CoV-2, which can represent a threat to public health management during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the possibility of the emergence of viruses with recombinant phenotypes.

3.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(10): e0009835, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468151

ABSTRACT

The sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in late 2020 has made Brazil the new epicenter of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The novel viral lineages P.1 (Variant of Concern Gamma) and P.2, respectively identified in the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Rio de Janeiro, have been associated with potentially higher transmission rates and antibody neutralization escape. In this study, we performed the whole-genome sequencing of 185 samples isolated from three out of the five Brazilian regions, including Amazonas (North region), Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba and Bahia (Northeast region), and Rio de Janeiro (Southeast region) in order to monitor the spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Brazil in the first months of 2021. Here, we showed a widespread dispersal of P.1 and P.2 across Brazilian regions and, except for Amazonas, P.2 was the predominant lineage identified in the sampled states. We estimated the origin of P.2 lineage to have happened in February, 2020 and identified that it has differentiated into new clades. Interstate transmission of P.2 was detected since March, but reached its peak in December, 2020 and January, 2021. Transmission of P.1 was also high in December and its origin was inferred to have happened in August 2020. We also confirmed the presence of lineage P.7, recently described in the southernmost region of Brazil, to have spread across the Northeastern states. P.1, P.2 and P.7 are descended from the ancient B.1.1.28 strain, which co-dominated the first phase of the pandemic in Brazil with the B.1.1.33 strain. We also identified the occurrence of a new lineage descending from B.1.1.33 that convergently carries the E484K mutation, N.9. Indeed, the recurrent report of many novel SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants in Brazil could be due to the absence of effective control measures resulting in high SARS-CoV2 transmission rates. Altogether, our findings provided a landscape of the critical state of SARS-CoV-2 across Brazil and confirm the need to sustain continuous sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 isolates worldwide in order to identify novel variants of interest and monitor for vaccine effectiveness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Genomics/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genetic Variation , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Virus Evol ; 7(2): veab078, 2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467409

ABSTRACT

Long-term infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents a challenge to virus dispersion and the control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The reason why some people have prolonged infection and how the virus persists for so long are still not fully understood. Recent studies suggested that the accumulation of intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) over the course of the infection might play an important role in persistence as well as emergence of mutations of concern. For this reason, we aimed to investigate the intra-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 during prolonged infection. Thirty-three patients who remained reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positive in the nasopharynx for on average 18 days from the symptoms onset were included in this study. Whole-genome sequences were obtained for each patient at two different time points. Phylogenetic, populational, and computational analyses of viral sequences were consistent with prolonged infection without evidence of coinfection in our cohort. We observed an elevated within-host genomic diversity at the second time point samples positively correlated with cycle threshold (Ct) values (lower viral load). Direct transmission was also confirmed in a small cluster of healthcare professionals that shared the same workplace by the presence of common iSNVs. A differential accumulation of missense variants between the time points was detected targeting crucial structural and non-structural proteins such as Spike and helicase. Interestingly, longitudinal acquisition of iSNVs in Spike protein coincided in many cases with SARS-CoV-2 reactive and predicted T cell epitopes. We observed a distinguishing pattern of mutations over the course of the infection mainly driven by increasing A→U and decreasing G→A signatures. G→A mutations may be associated with RNA-editing enzyme activities; therefore, the mutational profiles observed in our analysis were suggestive of innate immune mechanisms of the host cell defense. Therefore, we unveiled a dynamic and complex landscape of host and pathogen interaction during prolonged infection of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that the host's innate immunity shapes the increase of intra-host diversity. Our findings may also shed light on possible mechanisms underlying the emergence and spread of new variants resistant to the host immune response as recently observed in COVID-19 pandemic.

5.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463835

ABSTRACT

In the present study, we provide a retrospective genomic epidemiology analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We gathered publicly available data from GISAID and sequenced 1927 new genomes sampled periodically from March 2021 to June 2021 from 91 out of the 92 cities of the state. Our results showed that the pandemic was characterized by three different phases driven by a successive replacement of lineages. Interestingly, we noticed that viral supercarriers accounted for the overwhelming majority of the circulating virus (>90%) among symptomatic individuals in the state. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance also revealed the emergence and spread of two new variants (P.5 and P.1.2), firstly reported in this study. Our findings provided important lessons learned from the different epidemiological aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 dynamic in Rio de Janeiro. Altogether, this might have a strong potential to shape future decisions aiming to improve public health management and understanding mechanisms underlying virus dispersion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Child , Child, Preschool , Disease Hotspot , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Gene Library , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
7.
Virus Res ; 296: 198345, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096264

ABSTRACT

Emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 lineages are under the spotlight of the media, scientific community and governments. Recent reports of novel variants in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil (B.1.1.28-E484K) have raised intense interest because of a possible higher transmission rate or resistance to the novel vaccines. Nevertheless, the spread of B.1.1.28 (E484K) and other variants in Brazil is still unknown. In this work, we investigated the population structure and genomic complexity of SARS-CoV-2 in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil. Most samples sequenced belonged to the B.1.1.28 (E484K) lineage, demonstrating its widespread dispersion. We were the first to identify two independent events of co-infection caused by the occurrence of B.1.1.28 (E484K) with either B.1.1.248 or B.1.91 lineages. Also, clustering analysis revealed the occurrence of a novel cluster of samples circulating in the state (named VUI-NP13L) characterized by 12 lineage-defining mutations. In light of the evidence for E484K dispersion, co-infection and emergence of VUI-NP13 L in Rio Grande do Sul, we reaffirm the importance of establishing strict and effective social distancing measures to counter the spread of potentially more hazardous SARS-CoV-2 strains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
9.
Science ; 369(6508): 1255-1260, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-675945

ABSTRACT

Brazil currently has one of the fastest-growing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemics in the world. Because of limited available data, assessments of the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on this virus spread remain challenging. Using a mobility-driven transmission model, we show that NPIs reduced the reproduction number from >3 to 1 to 1.6 in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sequencing of 427 new genomes and analysis of a geographically representative genomic dataset identified >100 international virus introductions in Brazil. We estimate that most (76%) of the Brazilian strains fell in three clades that were introduced from Europe between 22 February and 11 March 2020. During the early epidemic phase, we found that SARS-CoV-2 spread mostly locally and within state borders. After this period, despite sharp decreases in air travel, we estimated multiple exportations from large urban centers that coincided with a 25% increase in average traveled distances in national flights. This study sheds new light on the epidemic transmission and evolutionary trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Brazil and provides evidence that current interventions remain insufficient to keep virus transmission under control in this country.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Basic Reproduction Number , Bayes Theorem , Betacoronavirus/classification , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cities/epidemiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Models, Genetic , Models, Statistical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , Travel , Urban Population
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