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1.
J Clin Med ; 11(2)2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613847

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has caused a large outbreak since its emergence in December 2019. COVID-19 diagnosis became a priority so as to isolate and treat infected individuals in order to break the contamination chain. Currently, the reference test for COVID-19 diagnosis is the molecular detection (RT-qPCR) of the virus from nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) samples. Although this sensitive and specific test remains the gold standard, it has several limitations, such as the invasive collection method, the relative high cost and the duration of the test. Moreover, the material shortage to perform tests due to the discrepancy between the high demand for tests and the production capacities puts additional constraints on RT-qPCR. Here, we propose a PCR-free method for diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 based on matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) profiling and machine learning (ML) models from salivary samples. Kinetic saliva samples were collected at enrollment and ten and thirty days later (D0, D10 and D30), to assess the classification performance of the ML models compared to the molecular tests performed on NPS specimens. Spectra were generated using an optimized protocol of saliva collection and successive quality control steps were developed to ensure the reliability of spectra. A total of 360 averaged spectra were included in the study. At D0, the comparison of MS spectra from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients (n = 105) with healthy healthcare controls (n = 51) revealed nine peaks that significantly distinguished the two groups. Among the five ML models tested, support vector machine with linear kernel (SVM-LK) provided the best performance on the training dataset (accuracy = 85.2%, sensitivity = 85.1%, specificity = 85.3%, F1-Score = 85.1%). The application of the SVM-LK model on independent datasets confirmed its performances with 88.9% and 80.8% of correct classification for samples collected at D0 and D30, respectively. Conversely, at D10, the proportion of correct classification had fallen to 64.3%. The analysis of saliva samples by MALDI-TOF MS and ML appears as an interesting supplementary tool for COVID-19 diagnosis, despite the mitigated results obtained for convalescent patients (D10).

2.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e049475, 2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591339

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Between 1 March and 15 June, France experienced the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which 29 549 deaths occurred among COVID-19 patients, 17 250 of whom died in hospital. Our hypothesis is that crude mortality rates are not sufficient to assess the impact of the epidemic on public health. The objective of this paper is to estimate the potential years of life lost (YLL) of patients who died from COVID-19. METHOD: We realised a retrospective analysis of the exhaustive sample of COVID-19 PCR-positive patients who died in public hospitals of Marseille during this first wave. Data on demographic characteristics, comorbidities and care pathways were collected from medical records. The Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was used to assess what would have been the probability of dying within 1 year of these patients in the absence of COVID-19 and to estimate total YLL. RESULTS: Among the 1631 patients who were hospitalised for COVID-19, 178 patients died, at an average age of 80 years. According to CCI, 88.8% of the deceased patients had an 85% probability of dying within 1 year before COVID-19. Among the 11.2% who had a lower CCI probability, 18 out of 20 had at least one additional comorbidity known to be a major risk factor of mortality in COVID-19 disease. Cumulative total number of YLL was estimated to be 541 in this deceased population, that is, an average of 3 YLL. CONCLUSION: Although our results should be interpreted with caution, this analysis confirms that mortality due to COVID-19 translates into a limited number of YLL due to both old age and preexisting comorbidities in the most vulnerable patients. This fact should be better considered in public health management of the pandemic both for risk communication and design of the most appropriate protective measures.

3.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580428

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to compare the clinical severity in patients who were coinfected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and rhinovirus or monoinfected with a single one of these viruses. METHODS: The study period ranged from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 (one year). SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses were identified by real-time reverse-transcription-PCR as part of the routine work at Marseille University hospitals. Bacterial and fungal infections were detected by standard methods. Clinical data were retrospectively collected from medical files. This study was approved by the ethical committee of our institute. RESULTS: A total of 6034/15,157 (40%) tested patients were positive for at least one respiratory virus. Ninety-three (4.3%) SARS-CoV-2-infected patients were coinfected with another respiratory virus, with rhinovirus being the most frequent (62/93, 67%). Patients coinfected with SARS-CoV-2 and rhinovirus were significantly more likely to report a cough than those with SARS-CoV-2 monoinfection (62% vs. 31%; p = 0.0008). In addition, they were also significantly more likely to report dyspnea than patients with rhinovirus monoinfection (45% vs. 36%; p = 0.02). They were also more likely to be transferred to an intensive care unit and to die than patients with rhinovirus monoinfection (16% vs. 5% and 7% vs. 2%, respectively) but these differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: A close surveillance and investigation of the co-incidence and interactions of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses is needed. The possible higher risk of increased clinical severity in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients coinfected with rhinovirus warrants further large scale studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/epidemiology , Coinfection/virology , Picornaviridae Infections/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Coinfection/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Picornaviridae Infections/diagnosis , Picornaviridae Infections/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Retrospective Studies , Rhinovirus , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
5.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488270

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, several episodes of human-to-animal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission have been described in different countries. The role of pets, especially domestic dogs, in the COVID-19 epidemiology is highly questionable and needs further investigation. In this study, we report a case of COVID-19 in a French dog living in close contact with its owners who were COVID-19 patients. The dog presented rhinitis and was sampled 1 week after its owners (a man and a woman) were tested positive for COVID-19. The nasal swabs for the dog tested remained positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) 1 month following the first diagnosis. Specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detectable 12 days after the first diagnosis and persisted for at least 5 months as tested using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) and automated western blotting. The whole-genome sequences from the dog and its owners were 99%-100% identical (with the man and the woman's sequences, respectively) and matched the B.1.160 variant of concern (Marseille-4 variant), the most widespread in France at the time the dog was infected. This study documents the first detection of B.1.160 in pets (a dog) in France, and the first canine genome recovery of the B.1.160 variant of global concern. Moreover, given the enhanced infectivity and transmissibility of the Marseille-4 variant for humans, this case also highlights the risk that pets may potentially play a significant role in SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks and may transmit the infection to humans. We have evidence of human-to-dog transmission of the Marseille-4 variant since the owners were first to be infected. Finally, owners and veterinarians must be vigilent for canine COVID-19 when dogs are presented with respiratory clinical signs.

6.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291158

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Several brain complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been reported. It has been moreover speculated that this neurotropism could potentially cause a delayed outbreak of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases of neuroinflammatory origin. A propagation mechanism has been proposed across the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, from the nose to the olfactory epithelium, and possibly afterwards to other limbic structures, and deeper parts of the brain including the brainstem. Methods: : Review of clinical examination, and whole-brain voxel-based analysis of 18 F-FDG PET metabolism in comparison to healthy subjects (p-voxel<0.001, p-cluster<0.05), of two patients with confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia explored at the post-viral stage of the disease. Results: : Hypometabolism of the olfactory/rectus gyrus was found on the two patients, especially one with 4 weeks prolonged anosmia. Additional hypometabolisms were found within bilateral amygdala, hippocampus, cingulate cortex, thalamus, pons and medulla brainstem in the other patient who complained of delayed onset of an atypical painful syndrome. Conclusion: These preliminary findings reinforce the hypotheses of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism through the olfactory bulb, and the possible extension of this impairment to other limbic structures and to the brainstem. 18 F-FDG PET hypometabolism could constitute a cerebral quantitative biomarker of this involvement. Post-viral cohort studies are required to specify the exact relationship between limbic/brainstem hypometabolisms and the possible persistent disorders, especially involving cognitive or emotion disturbances, residual respiratory symptoms or painful complaints.

7.
Rev Cardiovasc Med ; 22(3): 1063-1072, 2021 09 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439023

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the age-specific mortality of unselected adult outpatients infected with SARS-CoV-2 treated early in a dedicated COVID-19 day hospital and we assessed whether the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) + azithromycin (AZ) was associated with improved survival in this cohort. A retrospective monocentric cohort study was conducted in the day hospital of our center from March to December 2020 in adults with PCR-proven infection who were treated as outpatients with a standardized protocol. The primary endpoint was 6-week mortality, and secondary endpoints were transfer to the intensive care unit and hospitalization rate. Among 10,429 patients (median age, 45 [IQR 32-57] years; 5597 [53.7%] women), 16 died (0.15%). The infection fatality rate was 0.06% among the 8315 patients treated with HCQ+AZ. No deaths occurred among the 8414 patients younger than 60 years. Older age and male sex were associated with a higher risk of death, ICU transfer, and hospitalization. Treatment with HCQ+AZ (0.17 [0.06-0.48]) was associated with a lower risk of death, independently of age, sex and epidemic period. Meta-analysis evidenced consistency with 4 previous outpatient studies (32,124 patients-Odds ratio 0.31 [0.20-0.47], I2 = 0%). Early ambulatory treatment of COVID-19 with HCQ+AZ as a standard of care is associated with very low mortality, and HCQ+AZ improve COVID-19 survival compared to other regimens.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Early Medical Intervention , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Azithromycin/adverse effects , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , France , Hospitalization , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Outpatients , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
8.
Infect Genet Evol ; 95: 105092, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433676

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To compare the demographics, clinical characteristics and severity of patients infected with nine different SARS-CoV-2 variants, during three phases of the COVID-19 epidemic in Marseille. METHODS: A single centre retrospective cohort study was conducted in 1760 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 of Nextstrain clades 20A, 20B, and 20C (first phase, February-May 2020), Pangolin lineages B.1.177 (we named Marseille-2) and B.1.160 (Marseille-4) variants (second phase, June-December 2020), and B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma) and A.27 (Marseille-501) variants (third phase, January 2021-today). Outcomes were the occurrence of clinical failures, including hospitalisation, transfer to the intensive-care unit, and death. RESULTS: During each phase, no major differences were observed with regards to age and gender distribution, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and clinical symptoms between variants circulating in a given phase. The B.1.177 and B.1.160 variants were associated with more severe outcomes. Infections occurring during the second phase were associated with a higher rate of death as compared to infections during the first and third phases. Patients in the second phase were more likely to be hospitalised than those in the third phase. Patients infected during the third phase were more frequently obese than others. CONCLUSION: A large cohort study is recommended to evaluate the transmissibility and to better characterise the clinical severity of emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Diabetes Mellitus/pathology , Genome, Viral , Hypertension/pathology , Obesity/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/mortality , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Female , France/epidemiology , Genotype , Heart Diseases/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/mortality , Heart Diseases/pathology , Heart Diseases/virology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Hypertension/mortality , Hypertension/virology , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasms/virology , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity/mortality , Obesity/virology , Phylogeny , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis
9.
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 43: 102122, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392589
10.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(8)2021 Aug 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367805

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A previous study demonstrated the performance of the Salivette® (SARSTEDT, Numbrecht, Germany) as a homogeneous saliva collection system to diagnose COVID-19 by RT-qPCR, notably for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. However, for convalescent patients, the corroboration of molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 in paired nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) and saliva samples was unsatisfactory. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present work was to assess the concordance level of SARS-CoV-2 detection between paired sampling of NPSs and saliva collected with Salivette® at two time points, with ten days of interval. RESULTS: A total of 319 paired samples from 145 outpatients (OP) and 51 healthcare workers (HW) were collected. Unfortunately, at day ten, 73 individuals were lost to follow-up, explaining some kinetic missing data. Due to significant waiting rates at hospitals, most of the patients ate and/or drank while waiting for their turn. Consequently, mouth washing was systematically proposed prior to saliva collection. None of the HW were diagnosed as SARS-CoV-2 positive using NPS or saliva specimens at both time points (n = 95) by RT-qPCR. The virus was detected in 56.3% (n = 126/224) of the NPS samples from OP, but solely 26.8% (n = 60/224) of the paired saliva specimens. The detection of the internal cellular control, the human RNase P, in more than 98% of the saliva samples, underlined that the low sensitivity of saliva specimens (45.2%) for SARS-CoV-2 detection was not attributed to an improper saliva sample storing or RNA extraction. CONCLUSIONS: This work revealed that mouth washing decreased viral load of buccal cavity conducting to impairment of SARS-CoV-2 detection. Viral loads in saliva neo-produced appeared insufficient for molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2. At the time when saliva tests could be a rapid, simple and non-invasive strategy to assess large scale schoolchildren in France, the determination of the performance of saliva collection becomes imperative to standardize procedures.

11.
Journal of Clinical Virology Plus ; : 100036, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1347691

ABSTRACT

We conducted this meta-analysis to determine the proportion of co-infection with influenza viruses in SARS-CoV-2 positive patients and to investigate the severity of COVID-19 in these patients. We included studies with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by qRT-PCR and influenza virus infection (A and/or B) by nucleic acid tests. The proportion of co-infection was compared between children and adults, and between critically ill or deceased patients compared to overall patients. Fifty-four articles were included. The overall proportion of co-infection was 0.7%, 95%CI = [0.4 – 1.3]. Most influenza co-infections were due to the influenza A virus (74.4%). The proportion of co-infection with influenza viruses among children (3.2%, 95% CI = [0.9 – 10.9]) was significantly higher than that in adult patients (0.3%, 95% CI = [0.1 – 1.2]), p-value <0.01. The proportion of co-infection with influenza viruses among critically ill patients tended to be higher than that in overall patients (2.2%, 95% CI = [0.3 – 22.4] versus 0.6%, 95% CI = [0.3 – 1.2], respectively, p-value = 0.22). Screening for pathogens in co-infection, particularly influenza viruses in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, is necessary. This warrants close surveillance and investigation of the co-incidences and interactions of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses, which is facilitated by the expansion of syndromic diagnosis approaches through the use of multiplex PCR assays.

12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 625732, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291351

ABSTRACT

The etiological agent of COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2, is primarily a pulmonary-tropic coronavirus. Infection of alveolar pneumocytes by SARS-CoV-2 requires virus binding to the angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) monocarboxypeptidase. ACE2, present on the surface of many cell types, is known to be a regulator of blood pressure homeostasis through its ability to catalyze the proteolysis of Angiotensin II (Ang II) into Angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)]. We therefore hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 could trigger variations of ACE2 expression and Ang II plasma concentration in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We report here, that circulating blood cells from COVID-19 patients express less ACE2 mRNA than cells from healthy volunteers. At the level of circulating cells, this ACE2 gene dysregulation mainly affects the monocytes, which also show a lower expression of membrane ACE2 protein. Moreover, soluble ACE2 (sACE2) plasma concentrations are lower in prolonged viral shedders than in healthy controls, while the concentration of sACE2 returns to normal levels in short viral shedders. In the plasma of prolonged viral shedders, we also found higher concentrations of Ang II and angiotensin I (Ang I). On the other hand, the plasma levels of Ang-(1-7) remains almost stable in prolonged viral shedders but seems insufficient to prevent the adverse effects of Ang II accumulation. Altogether, these data evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 may affect the expression of blood pressure regulators with possible harmful consequences on COVID-19 outcome.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II/blood , Angiotensin I/blood , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/blood , COVID-19/blood , Peptide Fragments/blood , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , HLA-DR Antigens , Humans , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , Virus Shedding
13.
J Clin Med ; 10(12)2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270066

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We conducted this review to summarize the relation between viral mutation and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and also the severity of COVID-19 in vivo and in vitro. METHOD: Articles were identified through a literature search until 31 May 2021, in PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar. RESULTS: Sixty-three studies were included. To date, most studies showed that the viral mutations, especially the D614G variant, correlate with a higher infectivity than the wild-type virus. However, the evidence of the association between viral mutation and severity of the disease is scant. A SARS-CoV-2 variant with a 382-nucleotide deletion was associated with less severe infection in patients. The 11,083G > U mutation was significantly associated with asymptomatic patients. By contrast, ORF1ab 4715L and S protein 614G variants were significantly more frequent in patients from countries where high fatality rates were also reported. The current evidence showed that variants of concern have led to increased infectivity and deteriorating epidemiological situations. However, the relation between this variant and severity of COVID-19 infection was contradictory. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread worldwide. It is necessary to anticipate large clinical cohorts to evaluate the virulence and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 mutants.

15.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227067

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal shedding contributes to the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. Among 3271 COVID-19 patients treated at the Hospital University Institute Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France from 3 March to 27 April 2020, tested at least twice by qRT-PCR, the median SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal shedding duration was 6 days (range 2-54 days). Compared with short shedders (qRT-PCR positivity < 10 days), 34 (1.04%) persistent shedders (qRT-PCR positivity ≥ 17 days; mean ± SD: 23.3 ± 3.8 days) were significantly older, with associated comorbidities, exhibiting lymphopenia, eosinopenia, increased D-dimer and increased troponin (p < 0.05), and were hospitalized in intensive care unit in 17.7% vs. 1.1% of cases (p < 0.0001). Viral culture was positive in six persistent shedders after day 10, including in one patient after day 17, and no viral co-pathogen was detected in 33 tested patients. Persistent shedders received azithromycin plus hydroxychloroquine ≥ 3 days in 26/34 (76.5%) patients, a figure significantly lower than in short shedders (86.6%) (p = 0.042). Accordingly, mortality was 14.7% vs. 0.5% (p < 0.0001). Persistent shedding was significantly associated with persistent dyspnea and anosmia/ageusia (p < 0.05). In the context of COVID-19 treatment, including treatment with azithromycin plus hydroxychloroquine, the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal shedding was a rare event, most frequently encountered in elderly patients with comorbidities and lacking azithromycin plus hydroxychloroquine treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Virus Shedding/drug effects , Adult , Aged , Azithromycin/metabolism , Azithromycin/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Comorbidity , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , France/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
16.
J Oral Microbiol ; 13(1): 1920226, 2021 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226509

ABSTRACT

Background: The gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis relies on quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain reaction (RT-qPCR) from nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) specimens, but NPSs present several limitations. The simplicity, low invasive and possibility of self-collection of saliva imposed these specimens as a relevant alternative for SARS-CoV-2 detection. However, the discrepancy of saliva test results compared to NPSs made of its use controversial. Here, we assessed Salivettes®, as a standardized saliva collection device, and compared SARS-CoV-2 positivity on paired NPS and saliva specimens. Methods: A total of 303 individuals randomly selected among those investigated for SARS-CoV-2 were enrolled, including 30 (9.9%) patients previously positively tested using NPS (follow-up group), 90 (29.7%) mildly symptomatic and 183 (60.4%) asymptomatic. Results: The RT-qPCR revealed a positive rate of 11.6% (n = 35) and 17.2% (n = 52) for NPSs and saliva samples, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of saliva samples were 82.9% and 91.4%, respectively, using NPS as reference. The highest proportion of discordant results concerned the follow-up group (33.3%). Although the agreement exceeded 90.0% in the symptomatic and asymptomatic groups, 17 individuals were detected positive only in saliva samples, with consistent medical arguments. Conclusion Saliva collected with Salivette® was more sensitive for detecting symptomatic and pre-symptomatic infections.

19.
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 40: 101980, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Marseille, France, the COVID-19 incidence evolved unusually with several successive epidemic phases. The second outbreak started in July, was associated with North Africa, and involved travelers and an outbreak on passenger ships. This suggested the involvement of a new viral variant. METHODS: We sequenced the genomes from 916 SARS-CoV-2 strains from COVID-19 patients in our institute. The patients' demographic and clinical features were compared according to the infecting viral variant. RESULTS: From June 26th to August 14th, we identified a new viral variant (Marseille-1). Based on genome sequences (n = 89) or specific qPCR (n = 53), 142 patients infected with this variant were detected. It is characterized by a combination of 10 mutations located in the nsp2, nsp3, nsp12, S, ORF3a, ORF8 and N/ORF14 genes. We identified Senegal and Gambia, where the virus had been transferred from China and Europe in February-April as the sources of the Marseille-1 variant, which then most likely reached Marseille through Maghreb when French borders reopened. In France, this variant apparently remained almost limited to Marseille. In addition, it was significantly associated with a milder disease compared to clade 20A ancestor strains, in univariate analysis. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 can genetically diversify rapidly, its variants can diffuse internationally and cause successive outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Aged , Amino Acid Substitution , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Female , France/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Phylogeny , Travel , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viroporin Proteins/genetics
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