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1.
Med ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2031561

ABSTRACT

Background Universities are vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks, making them ideal environments to study transmission dynamics and evaluate mitigation and surveillance measures. Here, we analyze multimodal COVID-19-associated data collected during the 2020-2021 academic year at Colorado Mesa University and introduce a SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and response framework. Methods We analyzed epidemiological and sociobehavioral data (demographics, contact tracing, and WiFi-based co-location data) alongside pathogen surveillance data (wastewater and diagnostic testing, and viral genomic sequencing of wastewater and clinical specimens) to characterize outbreak dynamics and inform policy. We applied relative risk, multiple linear regression, and social network assortativity to identify attributes or behaviors associated with contracting SARS-CoV-2. To characterize SARS-CoV-2 transmission, we used viral sequencing, phylogenomic tools, and functional assays. Findings Athletes, particularly those on high-contact teams, had the highest risk of testing positive. On average, individuals who tested positive had more contacts and longer interaction durations than individuals who never tested positive. The distribution of contacts per individual was overdispersed, though not as overdispersed as the distribution of phylogenomic descendants. Corroboration via technical replicates was essential for identification of wastewater mutations. Conclusion Based on our findings, we formulate a framework that combines tools into an integrated disease surveillance program, which can be implemented in other congregate settings with limited resources.

2.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(1): 108-119, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574813

ABSTRACT

The global spread and continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has driven an unprecedented surge in viral genomic surveillance. Amplicon-based sequencing methods provide a sensitive, low-cost and rapid approach but suffer a high potential for contamination, which can undermine laboratory processes and results. This challenge will increase with the expanding global production of sequences across a variety of laboratories for epidemiological and clinical interpretation, as well as for genomic surveillance of emerging diseases in future outbreaks. We present SDSI + AmpSeq, an approach that uses 96 synthetic DNA spike-ins (SDSIs) to track samples and detect inter-sample contamination throughout the sequencing workflow. We apply SDSIs to the ARTIC Consortium's amplicon design, demonstrate their utility and efficiency in a real-time investigation of a suspected hospital cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases and validate them across 6,676 diagnostic samples at multiple laboratories. We establish that SDSI + AmpSeq provides increased confidence in genomic data by detecting and correcting for relatively common, yet previously unobserved modes of error, including spillover and sample swaps, without impacting genome recovery.


Subject(s)
DNA Primers/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Quality Control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Sequence Analysis/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing , Workflow
3.
Science ; 371(6529)2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388436

ABSTRACT

Analysis of 772 complete severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from early in the Boston-area epidemic revealed numerous introductions of the virus, a small number of which led to most cases. The data revealed two superspreading events. One, in a skilled nursing facility, led to rapid transmission and significant mortality in this vulnerable population but little broader spread, whereas other introductions into the facility had little effect. The second, at an international business conference, produced sustained community transmission and was exported, resulting in extensive regional, national, and international spread. The two events also differed substantially in the genetic variation they generated, suggesting varying transmission dynamics in superspreading events. Our results show how genomic epidemiology can help to understand the link between individual clusters and wider community spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Boston/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans
4.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376992

ABSTRACT

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa virus/physiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Humans , Lassa Fever/genetics , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/virology , Lassa virus/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/immunology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology
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