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Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2494, 2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890179


The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineage, but the second wave was overwhelmingly driven by the Alpha variant. Subsequently, an unheralded variant under monitoring, B.1.1.318, dominated transmission from April to June 2021 before being displaced by Delta variants, which were introduced into community transmission in May 2021. Mutational analysis indicated that variants that took hold in Ghana harboured transmission enhancing and immune escape spike substitutions. The observed rapid viral evolution demonstrates the potential for emergence of novel variants with greater mutational fitness as observed in other parts of the world.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 56-63, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502654


Malaria-endemic areas of the world are noted for high morbidity and mortality from malaria. Also noted in these areas is the majority of persons in the population having acquired malaria immunity. Though this acquired malaria immunity does not prevent infection, it resists the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites, restricting disease to merely uncomplicated cases or asymptomatic infections. Does this acquired malaria immunity in endemic areas protect against other diseases, especially outbreak diseases like COVID-19? Does malaria activation of innate immunity resulting in trained or tolerance immunity contribute to protection against COVID-19? In an attempt to answer these questions, this review highlights the components of malaria and viral immunity and explores possible links with immunity against COVID-19. With malaria-endemic areas of the world having a fair share of cases of COVID-19, it is important to direct research in this area to evaluate and harness any benefits of acquired malaria immunity to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and any possible future outbreaks. FUNDING: None declared.

COVID-19 , Malaria , Humans , Malaria/epidemiology , Malaria/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2