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1.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.12.20.521197

ABSTRACT

Recombination is the main contributor to RNA virus evolution, and SARS-CoV-2 during the pandemic produced several recombinants. The most recent SARS-CoV-2 recombinant is the lineage labeled XBB, also known as Gryphon, which arose from BJ.1 and BM.1.1.1. Here we performed a genome-based survey aimed to compare the new recombinant with its parental lineages that never became dominant. Genetic analyses indicated that the recombinant XBB and its first descendant XBB.1 show an evolutionary condition typical of an evolutionary blind background with no further epidemiologically relevant descendant. Genetic variability and expansion capabilities are slightly higher than parental lineages. Bayesian Skyline Plot indicates that XBB reached its plateau around October 6, 2022 and after an initial rapid growth the viral population size did not further expand, and around November 10, 2022 its levels of genetic variability decreased. Simultaneously with the reduction of the XBB population size, an increase of the genetic variability of its first sub-lineage XBB.1 occurred, that in turn reached the plateau around November 9, 2022 showing a kind of vicariance with its direct progenitors. Structure analysis indicates that the affinity for ACE2 surface in XBB/XBB.1 RBDs is weaker than for BA.2 RBD. In conclusion, nowadays XBB and XBB.1 do not show evidence about a particular danger or high expansion capability. Genome-based monitoring must continue uninterrupted in order to individuate if further mutations can make XBB more dangerous or generate new subvariants with different expansion capability.

2.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.11.22.22282629

ABSTRACT

In many regions of the world, the Alpha, Beta and Gamma SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) co-circulated during 2020-21 and fueled waves of infections. During 2021, these variants were almost completely displaced by the Delta variant, causing a third wave of infections worldwide. This phenomenon of global viral lineage displacement was observed again in late 2021, when the Omicron variant disseminated globally. In this study, we use phylogenetic and phylogeographic methods to reconstruct the dispersal patterns of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs worldwide. We find that the source-sink dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 varied substantially by VOC, and identify countries that acted as global hubs of variant dissemination, while other countries became regional contributors to the export of specific variants. We demonstrate a declining role of presumed origin countries of VOCs to their global dispersal: we estimate that India contributed <15% of all global exports of Delta to other countries and South Africa <1-2% of all global Omicron exports globally. We further estimate that >80 countries had received introductions of Omicron BA.1 100 days after its inferred date of emergence, compared to just over 25 countries for the Alpha variant. This increased speed of global dissemination was associated with a rebound in air travel volume prior to Omicron emergence in addition to the higher transmissibility of Omicron relative to Alpha. Our study highlights the importance of global and regional hubs in VOC dispersal, and the speed at which highly transmissible variants disseminate through these hubs, even before their detection and characterization through genomic surveillance.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
3.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.11.11.516052

ABSTRACT

The BQ.1 SARS-CoV-2 variant, also known as Cerberus, is one of the most recent Omicron descendant lineages. Compared to its direct progenitor BA.5, BQ.1 carries out some additional spike mutations in some key antigenic site which confer it further immune escape ability over other circulating lineage. In such a context, here we performed a genome-based survey aimed to obtain an as complete as possible nuance of this rapidly evolving Omicron subvariant. Genetic data suggests that BQ.1 represents an evolutionary blind background, lacking of the rapid diversification which is typical of a dangerous lineage. Indeed, the evolutionary rate of BQ.1 is very similar to that of BA.5 (7.6 x 10-4 and 7 x 10-4 subs/site/year, respectively), which is circulating by several months. Bayesian Skyline Plot reconstruction, indicates low level of genetic variability, suggesting that the peak has been reached around September 3, 2022. Structure analyses performed by comparing the properties of BQ.1 and BA.5 RBD indicated that the impact of the BQ.1 mutations on the affinity for ACE2 may be modest. Likewise, immunoinformatic analyses showed modest differences between the BQ.1 and the BA5 potential B-cells epitope. In conclusion, genetic and structural analysis on SARS-CoV-2 BQ.1 suggest that, it does not show evidence about its particular dangerous or high expansion capability. The monitoring genome-based must continue uninterrupted for a better understanding of its descendant and all other lineages.

4.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.05.01.22274406

ABSTRACT

South Africa's fourth COVID-19 wave was driven predominantly by three lineages (BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3) of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern. We have now identified two new lineages, BA.4 and BA.5. The spike proteins of BA.4 and BA.5 are identical, and comparable to BA.2 except for the addition of 69-70del, L452R, F486V and the wild type amino acid at Q493. The 69-70 deletion in spike allows these lineages to be identified by the proxy marker of S-gene target failure with the TaqPath COVID-19 qPCR assay. BA.4 and BA.5 have rapidly replaced BA.2, reaching more than 50% of sequenced cases in South Africa from the first week of April 2022 onwards. Using a multinomial logistic regression model, we estimate growth advantages for BA.4 and BA.5 of 0.08 (95% CI: 0.07 - 0.09) and 0.12 (95% CI: 0.09 - 0.15) per day respectively over BA.2 in South Africa.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
5.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.02.16.22271059

ABSTRACT

Genome sequencing proved to be an excellent tool to monitor the molecular epidemiology of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, i.e., coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Some reports of infected, vaccinated individuals have aroused great interest because they are primarily being infected with circulating variants of concern (VOCs). To investigate the cases of infected, vaccinated individuals in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, we performed genomic monitoring to estimate the magnitude of the different VOCs in these cases. Nasopharyngeal swabs from infected (symptomatic and asymptomatic), fully vaccinated individuals (n=29) who were of varying age and had RT-qPCR Ct values of [≤]30 were subjected to viral sequencing using Nanopore technology. Our analysis revealed that the Omicron variant was found in 99% of cases and that only one case was due to the Delta variant. Infected, fully vaccinated patients have a favorable clinical prognosis; however, within the community, they become viral carriers with the aggravating factor of viral dissemination of VOCs not neutralized by the vaccines.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , COVID-19 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Infections
6.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.27.21268309

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil was driven mainly by the spread of Gamma (P.1), a locally emerged Variant of Concern (VOC) that was first detected in early January 2021. This variant was estimated to be responsible for more than 96% of cases reported between January and June 2021, being associated with increased transmissibility and disease severity, a reduction in neutralization antibodies and effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, as well as diagnostic detection failure. Here we show that, following several importations predominantly from the USA, the Delta variant rapidly replaced Gamma after July 2021. However, in contrast to what was seen in other countries, the rapid spread of Delta did not lead to a large increase in the number of cases and deaths reported in Brazil. We suggest that this was likely due to the relatively successful early vaccination campaign coupled with natural immunity acquired following prior infection with Gamma. Our data reinforces reports of the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant and, considering the increasing concern due to the recently identified Omicron variant, argues for the necessity to strengthen genomic monitoring on a national level to quickly detect and curb the emergence and spread of other VOCs that might threaten global health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Death
7.
Raquel Viana; Sikhulile Moyo; Daniel Gyamfi Amoako; Houriiyah Tegally; Cathrine Scheepers; Richard J Lessells; Jennifer Giandhari; Nicole Wolter; Josie Everatt; Andrew Rambaut; Christian Althaus; Eduan Wilkinson; Adriano Mendes; Amy Strydom; Michaela Davids; Simnikiwe Mayaphi; Simani Gaseitsiwe; Wonderful T Choga; Dorcas Maruapula; Boitumelo Zuze; Botshelo Radibe; Legodile Koopile; Roger Shapiro; Shahin Lockman; Mpaphi B. Mbulawa; Thongbotho Mphoyakgosi; Pamela Smith-Lawrence; Mosepele Mosepele; Mogomotsi Matshaba; Kereng Masupu; Mohammed Chand; Charity Joseph; Lesego Kuate-Lere; Onalethatha Lesetedi-Mafoko; Kgomotso Moruisi; Lesley Scott; Wendy Stevens; Constantinos Kurt Wibmer; Anele Mnguni; Arshad Ismail; Boitshoko Mahlangu; Darren P. Martin; Verity Hill; Rachel Colquhoun; Modisa S. Motswaledi; James Emmanuel San; Noxolo Ntuli; Gerald Motsatsi; Sureshnee Pillay; Thabo Mohale; Upasana Ramphal; Yeshnee Naidoo; Naume Tebeila; Marta Giovanetti; Koleka Mlisana; Carolyn Williamson; Nei-yuan Hsiao; Nokukhanya Msomi; Kamela Mahlakwane; Susan Engelbrecht; Tongai Maponga; Wolfgang Preiser; Zinhle Makatini; Oluwakemi Laguda-Akingba; Lavanya Singh; Ugochukwu J. Anyaneji; Monika Moir; Stephanie van Wyk; Derek Tshiabuila; Yajna Ramphal; Arisha Maharaj; Sergei Pond; Alexander G Lucaci; Steven Weaver; Maciej F Boni; Koen Deforche; Kathleen Subramoney; Diana Hardie; Gert Marais; Deelan Doolabh; Rageema Joseph; Nokuzola Mbhele; Luicer Olubayo; Arash Iranzadeh; Alexander E Zarebski; Joseph Tsui; Moritz UG Kraemer; Oliver G Pybus; Dominique Goedhals; Phillip Armand Bester; Martin M Nyaga; Peter N Mwangi; Allison Glass; Florette Treurnicht; Marietjie Venter; Jinal N. Bhiman; Anne von Gottberg; Tulio de Oliveira.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.19.21268028

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in southern Africa has been characterised by three distinct waves. The first was associated with a mix of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, whilst the second and third waves were driven by the Beta and Delta variants respectively. In November 2021, genomic surveillance teams in South Africa and Botswana detected a new SARS-CoV-2 variant associated with a rapid resurgence of infections in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Within three days of the first genome being uploaded, it was designated a variant of concern (Omicron) by the World Health Organization and, within three weeks, had been identified in 87 countries. The Omicron variant is exceptional for carrying over 30 mutations in the spike glycoprotein, predicted to influence antibody neutralization and spike function4. Here, we describe the genomic profile and early transmission dynamics of Omicron, highlighting the rapid spread in regions with high levels of population immunity.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
8.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.11.29.21266819

ABSTRACT

Delta VOC is highly diverse and more than 120 sublineages have been identified in Pango lineages with the continuous description of emerging ones. Brazil is now one of the most vaccinated countries against SARS-CoV-2 in the world which can enhance the emergence of viral mutations related to improved viral fitness. In this study, we identified two novel sublineages of the AY.43 lineage which were classified as AY.43.1 and AY.43.2 as observed on the specific clustering on the obtained phylogenetic tree. The novel sublineages were defined by the following characteristic nonsynonymous mutations ORF1ab:A4133V and ORF3a:T14I for AY.43.1 and ORF1ab:G1155C for AY.43.2. The majority of the analyzed sequences of both lineages were Brazilian, which shows that probably these two emerging sublineages have Brazilian origin. It is still unknown how these two sublineages are disseminated in São Paulo State and Brazil and their potential impact on the ongoing vaccination process. However, the performed study reinforces the importance of the SARS-CoV-2 genome monitoring for timely identification of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants which can impact the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and public health policies


Subject(s)
Seizures
9.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.27.466055

ABSTRACT

Genotype screening was implemented in Italy and showed a significant prevalence of new SARS-CoV-2 mutants carrying Q675H mutation, near the furin cleavage site of spike protein. Currently, this mutation, which is expressed on different SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating worldwide, has not been thoughtfully investigated. Therefore, we performed phylogenetic and biocomputational analysis to better understand SARS-CoV-2 Q675H mutants evolutionary relationships with other circulating lineages and Q675H function in its molecular context. Our studies reveal that Q675H spike mutation is the result of parallel evolution because it arose independently in separate evolutionary clades. In silico data show that the Q675H mutation gives rise to a hydrogen-bonds network in the spike polar region delimiting the conformational space of the highly flexible loop containing the furin cleavage site. This results in an optimized directionality of arginine residues involved in interaction of spike with the furin binding pocket, thus improving proteolytic exposure of the viral protein. Furin was found to have a greater affinity for Q675H than Q675 substrate conformations. As a consequence, Q675H mutation is likely to confer a fitness advantage to SARS-CoV-2 by promoting a more efficient viral entry. Interestingly, here we show an ongoing increase in the occurrence of Q675H spike mutation in the most common SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC). This finding highlights that, VOC are still evolving and start acquiring the Q675H mutation. At the same time, it suggests that our hypothesis of fitness advantage prompted by Q675H could be concrete.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Seizures
10.
Marta Giovanetti; Svetoslav Nanev Slavov; Vagner Fonseca; Eduan Wilkinson; Houriiyah Tegally; Jose Patane; Vincent Louis Viala; Emmanuel James San; Evandra Strazza Rodrigues; Elaine Vieira Santos; Flavia Aburjaile; Joilson Xavier; Hegger Fritsch; Talita Emile Ribeiro Adelino; Felicidade Pereira; Arabela Leal; Felipe Campos de Melo Iani; Glauco de Carvalho Pereira; Cynthia Vazquez; Gladys Mercedes Estigarribia Sanabria; Elaine Cristina de Oliveira; Luiz Demarchi; Julio Croda; Rafael Dos Santos Bezerra Sr.; Loyze Paola Oliveira de Lima; Antonio Jorge Martins; Claudia Renata dos Santos Barros; Elaine Cristina Marqueze; Jardelina de Souza Todao Bernardino; Debora Botequio Moretti; Ricardo Augusto Brassaloti; Raquel de Lello Rocha Campos Cassano; Pilar Drummond Sampaio Correa Mariani; Joao Paulo Kitajima; Bibiana Santos; Rodrigo Proto Siqueira; Vlademir Vicente Cantarelli; Stephane Tosta; Vanessa Brandao Nardy; Luciana Reboredo de Oliveira da Silva; Marcela Kelly Astete Gomez; Jaqueline Gomes Lima; Adriana Aparecida Ribeiro; Natalia Rocha Guimaraes; Luiz Takao Watanabe; Luana Barbosa Da Silva; Raquel da Silva Ferreira; Mara Patricia F. da Penha; Maria Jose Ortega; Andrea Gomez de la Fuente; Shirley Villalba; Juan Torales; Maria Liz Gamarra; Carolina Aquino; Gloria Patricia Martinez Figueredo; Wellington Santos Fava; Ana Rita C. Motta Castro; James Venturini; Sandra Maria do Vale Leone de Oliveira; Crhistinne Cavalheiro Maymone Goncalves; Maria do Carmo Debur Rossa; Guilherme Nardi Becker; Mayra Marinho Presibella; Nelson Quallio Marques; Irina Nastassja Riediger; Sonia Raboni; Gabriela Mattoso; Allan D. Cataneo; Camila Zanluca; Claudia N Duarte dos Santos; Patricia Akemi Assato; Felipe Allan da Silva da Costa; Mirele Daiana Poleti; Jessika Cristina Chagas Lesbon; Elisangela Chicaroni Mattos; Cecilia Artico Banho; Livia S Sacchetto; Marilia Mazzi Moraes; Rejane Maria Tommasini Grotto; Jayme A. Souza-Neto; Mauricio L Nogueira; Heidge Fukumasu; Luiz Lehmann Coutinho; Rodrigo Tocantins Calado; Raul Machado Neto; Ana Maria Bispo de Filippis; Rivaldo Venancio da Cunha; Carla Freitas; Cassio Roberto Leonel Peterka; Cassia de Fatima Rangel Fernandes; Wildo Navegantes; Rodrigo Fabiano do Carmo Said; Maria Almiron; Carlos F Campelo de A e Melo; Jose Lourenco; Tulio de Oliveira; Edward C Holmes; Ricardo Haddad; Sandra Coccuzzo Sampaio; Maria Carolina Elias; Simone Kashima; Luiz Carlos Junior Alcantara; Dimas Tadeu Covas.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.07.21264644

ABSTRACT

Brazil has experienced some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths globally and made Latin America a pandemic epicenter from May 2021. Although SARS-CoV-2 established sustained transmission in Brazil early in the pandemic, important gaps remain in our understanding of local virus transmission dynamics. Here, we describe the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 using near-full genomes sampled from 27 Brazilian states and an adjacent country - Paraguay. We show that the early stage of the pandemic in Brazil was characterised by the co-circulation of multiple viral lineages, linked to multiple importations predominantly from Europe, and subsequently characterized by large local transmission clusters. As the epidemic progressed, the absence of effective restriction measures led to the local emergence and international spread of Variants of Concern (VOC) and under monitoring (VUM), including the Gamma (P.1) and Zeta (P.2) variants. In addition, we provide a preliminary genomic overview of the epidemic in Paraguay, showing evidence of importation from Brazil. These data reinforce the need for the implementation of widespread genomic surveillance in South America as a toolkit for pandemic monitoring and providing a means to follow the real-time spread of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants with possible implications for public health and immunization strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
11.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.09.23.21264018

ABSTRACT

The Beta variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in South Africa in late 2020 and rapidly became the dominant variant, causing over 95% of infections in the country during and after the second epidemic wave. Here we show rapid replacement of the Beta variant by the Delta variant, a highly transmissible variant of concern (VOC) that emerged in India and subsequently spread around the world. The Delta variant was imported to South Africa primarily from India, spread rapidly in large monophyletic clusters to all provinces, and became dominant within three months of introduction. This was associated with a resurgence in community transmission, leading to a third wave which was associated with a high number of deaths. We estimated a growth advantage for the Delta variant in South Africa of 0.089 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.084-0.093) per day which corresponds to a transmission advantage of 46% (95% CI 44-48) compared to the Beta variant. These data provide additional support for the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant relative to other VOC and highlight how dynamic shifts in the distribution of variants contribute to the ongoing public health threat.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections
12.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.09.15.21262846

ABSTRACT

The dissemination of the Delta VOC in Brazil is still unclear, despite the frequent reports of isolated cases from different Brazilian states. In this report we characterize the dissemination of the Delta VOC in Brazil and where the introductions of this lineage fall within the global Delta phylogeny. We also examined the mutational profile of the largest clade within the Brazilian Delta VOCs, with a focus on samples which were obtained in the State of Sao Paulo, and especially in the city of Sao Paulo, the largest metropolis of South America, and a national and international transportation hub.

13.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.16.21259017

ABSTRACT

Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, has had a unique experience of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In March 2020, Mauritius endured a small first wave and quickly implemented control measures which allowed elimination of local transmission of SARS-CoV-2. When borders to the island reopened, it was accompanied by mandatory quarantine and testing of incoming passengers to avoid reintroduction of the virus into the community. As variants of concern (VOCs) emerged elsewhere in the world, Mauritius began using genomic surveillance to keep track of quarantined cases of these variants. In March 2021, another local outbreak occurred, and sequencing was used to investigate this new wave of local infections. Here, we analyze 154 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from Mauritius, which represent 12% of all the infections seem in Mauritius, these were both from specimens of incoming passengers before March 2021 and those of cases during the second wave. Our findings indicate that despite the presence of known VOCs Beta (B.1.351) and Alpha (B.1.1.7) among quarantined passengers, the second wave of local SARS-CoV-2 infections in Mauritius was caused by a single introduction and dominant circulation of the B.1.1.318 virus. The B.1.1.318 variant is characterized by fourteen non-synonymous mutations in the S-gene, with five encoded amino acid substitutions (T95I, E484K, D614G, P681H, D796H) and one deletion (Y144del) in the Spike glycoprotein. This variant seems to be increasing in prevalence and it is now present in 34 countries. This study highlights that despite having stopped the introduction of more transmissible VOCs by travel quarantines, a single undetected introduction of a B.1.1.318 lineage virus was enough to initiate a large local outbreak in Mauritius and demonstrated the need for continuous genomic surveillance to fully inform public health decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
14.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.08.445535

ABSTRACT

Lineage B.1.617+, also known as G/452R.V3, is a recently described SARS-CoV-2 variant under investigation (VUI) firstly identified in October 2020 in India. As of May 2021, three sublineages labelled as B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 have been already identified, and their potential impact on the current pandemic is being studied. This variant has 13 amino acid changes, three in its spike protein, which are currently of particular concern: E484Q, L452R and P681R. Here we report a major effect of the mutations characterizing this lineage, represented by a marked alteration of the surface electrostatic potential (EP) of the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Enhanced RBD-EP is particularly noticeable in the B.1.617.2 sublineage, which shows multiple replacements of neutral or negatively-charged amino acids with positively-charged amino acids. We here hypothesize that this EP change can favor the interaction between the B.1.617+ RBD and the negatively-charged ACE2 thus conferring a potential increase in the virus transmission.


Subject(s)
Migraine Disorders
15.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.02.21257981

ABSTRACT

The introduction of trained sniffer dogs for COVID-19 disease detection could be an opportunity, as previously described for other diseases. Dogs could be trained to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the whiff of COVID-19 disease. Dogs involved in the study were three one male and two females from different breeds, Black German Shepherd, German Shepherd and Dutch Shepherd. The training was performed using sweat samples from COVID-19 positive apteints and from covid-19 free patients admitted at the University Hospital Campus Bio-medico of Rome. Gauze with sweat were collected in glass jar with metal top and put in metal boxes used for dog training. The dog training protocol was performed in two phase: the olfactory conditioning and the olfactory discrimintaion research. The training palnning was focused on the switch moment for the sniffer dog, the moment when the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19 disease. At this time the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19 disease with significant reliability, in terms of number of correct versus uncorrect (p<0.0001) reporting. In conclusion, this protocol could provide a useful tool for sniffer dogs training and their introduction in mass screening context, cheaper and faster than a conventional testing method.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
16.
Eduan Wilkinson; Marta Giovanetti; Houriiyah Tegally; James E San; Richard Lessels; Diego Cuadros; Darren P Martin; Abdel-Rahman N Zekri; Abdoul Sangare; Abdoul Salam Ouedraogo; Abdul K Sesay; Adnene Hammami; Adrienne A Amuri; Ahmad Sayed; Ahmed Rebai; Aida Elargoubi; Alpha K Keita; Amadou A Sall; Amadou Kone; Amal Souissi; Ana V Gutierrez; Andrew Page; Arnold Lambisia; Arash Iranzadeh; Augustina Sylverken; Azeddine Ibrahimi; Bourema Kouriba; Bronwyn Kleinhans; Beatrice Dhaala; Cara Brook; Carolyn Williamson; Catherine B Pratt; Chantal G Akoua-Koffi; Charles Agoti; Collins M Moranga; James D Nokes; Daniel J Bridges; Daniel L Bugembe; Deelan Doolabh; Deogratius Ssemwanga; Derek Tshabuila; Diarra Bassirou; Dominic S.Y. Amuzu; Dominique Goedhals; Dorcas Maruapula; Edith N Ngabana; Eddy Lusamaki; Edidah Moraa; Elmostafa El Fahime; Emerald Jacob; Emmanuel Lokilo; Enatha Mukantwari; Essia Belarbi; Etienne Simon-Loriere; Etile A Anoh; Fabian Leendertz; Faida Ajili; Fares Wasfi; Faustinos T Takawira; Fawzi Derrar; Feriel Bouzid; Francisca M Muyembe; Frank Tanser; Gabriel Mbunsu; Gaetan Thilliez; Gert van Zyl; Grit Schubert; George Githinji; Gordon A Awandare; Haruka Abe; Hela H Karray; Hellen Nansumba; Hesham A Elgahzaly; Hlanai Gumbo; Ibtihel Smeti; Ikhlass B Ayed; Imed Gaaloul; Ilhem B.B. Boubaker; Inbal Gazy; Isaac Ssewanyana; Jean B Lekana-Douk; Jean-Claude C Makangara; Jean-Jacques M Tamfum; Jean M Heraud; Jeffrey G Shaffer; Jennifer Giandhari; Jingjing Li; Jiro Yasuda; Joana Q Mends; Jocelyn Kiconco; Jonathan A Edwards; John Morobe; John N Nkengasong; John Gyapong; John T Kayiwa; Jones Gyamfi; Jouali Farah; Joyce M Ngoi; Joyce Namulondo; Julia C Andeko; Julius J Lutwama; Justin O Grady; Kefenstse A Tumedi; Khadija Said; Kim Hae-Young; Kwabena O Duedu; Lahcen Belyamani; Lavanya Singh; Leonardo de O. Martins; Madisa Mine; Mahmoud el Hefnawi; Mahjoub Aouni; Maha Mastouri; Maitshwarelo I Matsheka; Malebogo Kebabonye; Manel Turki; Martin Nyaga; Matoke Damaris; Matthew Cotten; Maureen W Mburu; Maximillian Mpina; Michael R Wiley; Mohamed A Ali; Mohamed K Khalifa; Mohamed G Seadawy; Mouna Ouadghiri; Mulenga Mwenda; Mushal Allam; My V.T. Phan; Nabil Abid; Nadia Touil; Najla Kharrat; Nalia Ismael; Nedio Mabunda; Nei-yuan Hsiao; Nelson Silochi; Ngonda Saasa; Nicola Mulder; Patrice Combe; Patrick Semanda; Paul E Oluniyi; Paulo Arnaldo; Peter K Quashie; Reuben Ayivor-Djanie; Philip A Bester; Philippe Dussart; Placide K Mbala; Pontiano Kaleebu; Richard Njouom; Richmond Gorman; Robert A Kingsley; Rosina A.A. Carr; Saba Gargouri; Saber Masmoudi; Samar Kassim; Sameh Trabelsi; Sami Kammoun; Sanaa Lemriss; Sara H Agwa; Sebastien Calvignac-Spencer; Seydou Doumbia; Sheila M Madinda; Sherihane Aryeetey; Shymaa S Ahmed; Sikhulile Moyo; Simani Gaseitsiwe; Edgar Simulundu; Sonia Lekana-Douki; Soumeya Ouangraoua; Steve A Mundeke; Sumir Panji; Sureshnee Pillay; Susan Engelbrecht; Susan Nabadda; Sylvie Behillil; Sylvie van der Werf; Tarik Aanniz; Tapfumanei Mashe; Thabo Mohale; Thanh Le-Viet; Tobias Schindler; Upasana Ramphal; Magalutcheemee Ramuth; Vagner Fonseca; Vincent Enouf; Wael H Roshdy; William Ampofo; Wolfgang Preiser; Wonderful T Choga; Yaw Bediako; Yenew K. Tebeje; Yeshnee Naidoo; Zaydah de Laurent; Sofonias K Tessema; Tulio de Oliveira.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.12.21257080

ABSTRACT

The progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Africa has so far been heterogeneous and the full impact is not yet well understood. Here, we describe the genomic epidemiology using a dataset of 8746 genomes from 33 African countries and two overseas territories. We show that the epidemics in most countries were initiated by importations, predominantly from Europe, which diminished following the early introduction of international travel restrictions. As the pandemic progressed, ongoing transmission in many countries and increasing mobility led to the emergence and spread within the continent of many variants of concern and interest, such as B.1.351, B.1.525, A.23.1 and C.1.1. Although distorted by low sampling numbers and blind-spots, the findings highlight that Africa must not be left behind in the global pandemic response, otherwise it could become a breeding ground for new variants.

17.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.03.30.21254323

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2020, the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) detected a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) in South Africa (501Y.V2 or PANGO lineage B.1.351)1. 501Y.V2 is associated with increased transmissibility and resistance to neutralizing antibodies elicited by natural infection and vaccination2,3. 501Y.V2 has since spread to over 50 countries around the world and has contributed to a significant resurgence of the epidemic in southern Africa. In order to rapidly characterize the spread of this and other emerging VOCs and variants of interest (VOIs), NGS-SA partnered with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Society of Laboratory Medicine through the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative to strengthen SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance across the region. Here, we report the first genomic surveillance results from Angola, which has had 21 500 reported cases and around 500 deaths from COVID-19 up to March 2021 (Supplemental Fig S1). On 15 January 2021, in response to the international spread of VOCs, the government instituted compulsory rapid antigen testing of all passengers arriving at the main international airport, in addition to the existing requirement to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. All individuals with a positive antigen test are isolated in a government facility for a minimum of 14 days and require two negative RT-PCR tests at least 48 hours apart for de-isolation, whilst all travelers with a negative test on arrival proceed to mandatory self-quarantine for 10 days followed by a repeat test. In March 2021, we received 118 nasopharyngeal swab samples collected between June 2020 and February 2021, a number of which were from incoming air travelers (Supplemental Fig S1). From these, we produced 73 high quality genomes (>80% coverage), 14 of which were known VOCs/VOIs (seven 501Y.V2/B.1.351, six B.1.1.7, one B.1.525), 44 of which were C.16 (a common lineage circulating in Portugal), and twelve of which were other lineages (Supplemental Fig S2). In addition, we detected a new VOI in three incoming travelers from Tanzania who were tested together at the airport in mid-February. The three genomes from these passengers were almost identical and presented highly divergent sequences within the A lineage (Figure 1A & 1B). The GISAID database contains nine other sequences reported to be sampled from cases involving travel from Tanzania, two of which are basal to the three sampled in Angola (Figure 1A, Supplemental Table S1). This new VOI, temporarily designated A.VOI.V2, has 31 amino acid substitutions (11 in spike) and three deletions (all in spike) (Figure 1C & 1D). The spike mutations include three substitutions in the receptor-binding domain (R346K, T478R and E484K); five substitutions and three deletions in the N-terminal domain, some of which are within the antigenic supersite (Y144{Delta}, R246M, SYL247-249{Delta} and W258L)4; and two substitutions adjacent to the S1/S2 cleavage site (H655Y and P681H). Several of these mutations are present in other VOCs/VOIs and are evolving under positive selection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergencies
18.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.03.30.21254591

ABSTRACT

Sao Paulo State, the most populous area in Brazil, currently experiences a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which overwhelmed the healthcare system. Recently, due to the paucity of SARS-CoV-2 complete genome sequences, we established a Network for Pandemic Alert of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants to rapidly understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and monitor in nearly real-time the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants into the state. Through full genome analysis of 217 SARS-CoV-2 complete genome sequences obtained from the largest regional health departments we were able to identify the co-circulation of multiple SARS-CoV-2 lineages such as i) B.1.1 (0.92%), ii) B.1.1.1 (0.46%), iii) B.1.1.28 (25.34%), iv) B.1.1.7 (5.99%), v) B.1.566 (1.84%), vi) P.1 (64.05%), and P.2 (0.92%). Further our analysis allowed the detection, for the first time in Brazil of the South African variant of concern (VOC), the B.1.351 (501Y.V2) (0.46%). The identified lineage was characterized by the presence of the following mutations: ORF1ab: T265I, R724K, S1612L, K1655N, K3353R, SGF 3675_F3677del, P4715L, E5585D; Spike: D80A, D215G, L242_L244del, A262D, K417N, E484K, N501Y, D614G, A701V, C1247F; ORF3a: Q57H, S171L, E: P71L; ORF7b: Y10F, N: T205I; ORF14: L52F. Origin of the most recent common ancestor of this genomic variant was inferred to be between middle October to late December 2020. Analysis of generated sequences demonstrated the predominance of the P.1 lineage and allowed the early detection of the South African strain for the first time in Brazil. Our findings highlight the importance to increase active monitoring to ensure the rapid detection of new SARS-CoV-2 variants with a potential impact in pandemic control and vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
19.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.02.25.21252490

ABSTRACT

Tracking the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern is crucial to inform public health efforts and control the ongoing pandemic. Here, we report genetic evidence for circulation of the P.1 variant in Northeast Brazil. We advocate for increased active surveillance to ensure adequate control of this variant throughout the country. Article Summary Line Active genomic surveillance of SARS- CoV-2 suspected cases from recent travelers reveals the circulation of the P1 variant of concern in Bahia state, Northeast Brazil.

20.
preprints.org; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-PREPRINTS.ORG | ID: ppzbmed-202101.0132.v2

ABSTRACT

To date, uncertainty remains about how long the protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 persists and reports of suspected reinfection began to be described in recovered patients months after the first episode. Viral evolution may favor reinfections, and the recently described spike mutations, particularly in the receptor binding domain (RBD) in SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in the UK, South Africa, and most recently in Brazil, have raised concern on their potential impact in infectivity, immune escape and reinfection. We report a case of reinfection from distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages presenting the E484K mutation in Brazil, a variant associated with escape from neutralizing antibodies.

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