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1.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5769, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447305

ABSTRACT

Distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages, discovered through various genomic surveillance initiatives, have emerged during the pandemic following unprecedented reductions in worldwide human mobility. We here describe a SARS-CoV-2 lineage - designated B.1.620 - discovered in Lithuania and carrying many mutations and deletions in the spike protein shared with widespread variants of concern (VOCs), including E484K, S477N and deletions HV69Δ, Y144Δ, and LLA241/243Δ. As well as documenting the suite of mutations this lineage carries, we also describe its potential to be resistant to neutralising antibodies, accompanying travel histories for a subset of European cases, evidence of local B.1.620 transmission in Europe with a focus on Lithuania, and significance of its prevalence in Central Africa owing to recent genome sequencing efforts there. We make a case for its likely Central African origin using advanced phylogeographic inference methodologies incorporating recorded travel histories of infected travellers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Africa, Central/epidemiology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Mutation , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Travel/statistics & numerical data
2.
Adv Virus Res ; 110: 1-26, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300028

ABSTRACT

Over the last two decades, the viromes of our closest relatives, the African great apes (AGA), have been intensively studied. Comparative approaches have unveiled diverse evolutionary patterns, highlighting both stable host-virus associations over extended evolutionary timescales and much more recent viral emergence events. In this chapter, we summarize these findings and outline how they have shed a new light on the origins and evolution of many human-infecting viruses. We also show how this knowledge can be used to better understand the evolution of human health in relation to viral infections.


Subject(s)
Hominidae , Virus Diseases , Viruses , Animals , Biological Evolution , DNA Viruses , Humans , Virus Diseases/veterinary , Viruses/genetics
3.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 539, 2021 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261266

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, acute respiratory infections (ARI), acute gastrointestinal infections (GI) and acute febrile disease of unknown cause (AFDUC) have a large disease burden, especially among children, while respective aetiologies often remain unresolved. The need for robust infectious disease surveillance to detect emerging pathogens along with common human pathogens has been highlighted by the ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The African Network for Improved Diagnostics, Epidemiology and Management of Common Infectious Agents (ANDEMIA) is a sentinel surveillance study on the aetiology and clinical characteristics of ARI, GI and AFDUC in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: ANDEMIA includes 12 urban and rural health care facilities in four African countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of South Africa). It was piloted in 2018 in Côte d'Ivoire and the initial phase will run from 2019 to 2021. Case definitions for ARI, GI and AFDUC were established, as well as syndrome-specific sampling algorithms including the collection of blood, naso- and oropharyngeal swabs and stool. Samples are tested using comprehensive diagnostic protocols, ranging from classic bacteriology and antimicrobial resistance screening to multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems and High Throughput Sequencing. In March 2020, PCR testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and analysis of full genomic information was included in the study. Standardised questionnaires collect relevant clinical, demographic, socio-economic and behavioural data for epidemiologic analyses. Controls are enrolled over a 12-month period for a nested case-control study. Data will be assessed descriptively and aetiologies will be evaluated using a latent class analysis among cases. Among cases and controls, an integrated analytic approach using logistic regression and Bayesian estimation will be employed to improve the assessment of aetiology and associated risk factors. DISCUSSION: ANDEMIA aims to expand our understanding of ARI, GI and AFDUC aetiologies in sub-Saharan Africa using a comprehensive laboratory diagnostics strategy. It will foster early detection of emerging threats and continued monitoring of important common pathogens. The network collaboration will be strengthened and site diagnostic capacities will be reinforced to improve quality management and patient care.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Mass Screening , Sentinel Surveillance , Bayes Theorem , Burkina Faso , Case-Control Studies , Cote d'Ivoire , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/microbiology , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , South Africa
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258759

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On October, 2020, after the first wave of COVID-19, only 8290 confirmed cases were reported in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the real prevalence remains unknown. To guide public health policies, we aimed to describe the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in the general population in Kinshasa. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional, household-based serosurvey between October 22, 2020, and November 8, 2020. Participants were interviewed at home and tested for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins in a Luminex based assay. A positive serology was defined as a sample that reacted with both SARS-CoV-2 proteins (100% sensitivity, 99.7% specificity). The overall weighted, age-standardized prevalence was estimated and the infection-to-case ratio was calculated to determine the proportion of undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infections. RESULTS: A total of 1233 participants from 292 households were included (mean age, 32.4 years; 764 [61.2%] were women). The overall weighted, age-standardized SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 16.6% (95% CI 14.0-19.5). The estimated infection-to-case ratio was 292:1. Prevalence was higher among participants ≥ 40 years than among those ˂18 years (21.2% vs 14.9%, respectively; p˂0.05). It was also higher in participants who reported hospitalization than among those who did not (29.8% vs 16.0%, respectively; p˂0.05). However, differences were not significant in the multivariate model (p=0.1). CONCLUSION: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 is much higher than the number of COVID-19 cases reported. These results justify the organization of a sequential series of serosurveys by public health authorities to adapt response measures to the dynamics of the pandemic.

7.
Mamm Rev ; 2020 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-838553

ABSTRACT

It has been a long time since the world has experienced a pandemic with such a rapid devastating impact as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is unusual in that it appears capable of infecting many different mammal species. As a significant proportion of people worldwide are infected with SARS-CoV-2 and may spread the infection unknowingly before symptoms occur or without any symptoms ever occurring, there is a non-negligible risk of humans spreading SARS-CoV-2 to wildlife, in particular to wild non-human mammals. Because of SARS-CoV-2's apparent evolutionary origins in bats and reports of humans transmitting the virus to pets and zoo animals, regulations for the prevention of human-to-animal transmission have so far focused mostly on these animal groups. We summarise recent studies and reports that show that a wide range of distantly related mammals are likely to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, and that susceptibility or resistance to the virus is, in general, not predictable, or only predictable to some extent, from phylogenetic proximity to known susceptible or resistant hosts. In the absence of solid evidence on the susceptibility and resistance to SARS-CoV-2 for each of the >6500 mammal species, we argue that sanitary precautions should be taken by humans interacting with any other mammal species in the wild. Preventing human-to-wildlife SARS-CoV-2 transmission is important to protect these animals (some of which are classed as threatened) from disease, but also to avoid establishment of novel SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs in wild mammals. The risk of repeated re-infection of humans from such a wildlife reservoir could severely hamper SARS-CoV-2 control efforts. Activities during which direct or indirect interaction with wild mammals may occur include wildlife research, conservation activities, forestry work, pest control, management of feral populations, ecological consultancy work, management of protected areas and natural environments, wildlife tourism and wildlife rehabilitation in animal shelters. During such activities, we recommend sanitary precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing face masks and gloves, and frequent decontamination, which are very similar to regulations currently imposed to prevent transmission among humans. We further recommend active surveillance of domestic and feral animals that could act as SARS-CoV-2 intermediate hosts between humans and wild mammals.

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