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1.
Virus Evol ; 8(2): veac064, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1997080

ABSTRACT

The emergence and global dissemination of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) have been described as the main factor driving the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. In Brazil, the Gamma variant dominated the epidemiological scenario during the first period of 2021. Many Brazilian regions detected the Delta variant after its first description and documented its spread. To monitor the introduction and spread of VOC Delta, we performed Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) genotyping and genome sequencing in ten regional sentinel units from June to October 2021 in the State of Minas Gerais (MG). We documented the introduction and spread of Delta, comprising 70 per cent of the cases 8 weeks later. Comparing the viral loads of the Gamma and Delta dominance periods, we provide additional evidence that the latter is more transmissible. The spread and dominance of Delta did not culminate in the increase in cases and deaths, suggesting that the vaccination may have restrained the epidemic growth. Analysis of 224 novel Delta genomes revealed that Rio de Janeiro state was the primary source for disseminating this variant in the state of MG. We present the establishment of Delta, providing evidence of its enhanced transmissibility and showing that this variant shift did not aggravate the epidemiological scenario in a high immunity setting.

3.
Nat Med ; 28(7): 1476-1485, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830084

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant of concern has spread rapidly across Brazil since late 2020, causing substantial infection and death waves. Here we used individual-level patient records after hospitalization with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between 20 January 2020 and 26 July 2021 to document temporary, sweeping shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed the spread of Gamma across 14 state capitals, during which typically more than half of hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older died. We show that such extensive shocks in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed before the detection of Gamma. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we found that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates were primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We estimate that approximately half of the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals in the 14 cities could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population-wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792408

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused immeasurable impacts on the health and socioeconomic system. The real-time identification and characterization of new Variants of Concern (VOCs) are critical to comprehend its emergence and spread worldwide. In this sense, we carried out a national epidemiological surveillance program in Brazil from April to October 2021. Genotyping by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and sequencing were performed to monitor the dynamics and dissemination of VOCs in samples from 15 federative units. Delta VOC was first detected on June 2021 and took sixteen weeks to replace Gamma. To assess the transmissibility potential of Gamma and Delta VOCs, we studied the dynamics of RT-qPCR cycle threshold (Ct) score in the dominance period of each variant. The data suggest that Delta VOC has a higher transmission rate than Gamma VOC. We also compared relevant symptom patterns in individuals infected with both VOCs. The Delta-infected subjects were less likely to have low oxygen saturation or fatigue, altered results on chest computed tomography, and a propensity for altered X-rays. Altogether, we described the replacement of Gamma by Delta, Delta enhanced transmissibility, and differences in symptom presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244148

ABSTRACT

The emergence of diverse lineages harboring mutations with functional significance and potentially enhanced transmissibility imposes an increased difficulty on the containment of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic [...].


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/classification
6.
Science ; 369(6508): 1255-1260, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-675945

ABSTRACT

Brazil currently has one of the fastest-growing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemics in the world. Because of limited available data, assessments of the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on this virus spread remain challenging. Using a mobility-driven transmission model, we show that NPIs reduced the reproduction number from >3 to 1 to 1.6 in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sequencing of 427 new genomes and analysis of a geographically representative genomic dataset identified >100 international virus introductions in Brazil. We estimate that most (76%) of the Brazilian strains fell in three clades that were introduced from Europe between 22 February and 11 March 2020. During the early epidemic phase, we found that SARS-CoV-2 spread mostly locally and within state borders. After this period, despite sharp decreases in air travel, we estimated multiple exportations from large urban centers that coincided with a 25% increase in average traveled distances in national flights. This study sheds new light on the epidemic transmission and evolutionary trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Brazil and provides evidence that current interventions remain insufficient to keep virus transmission under control in this country.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Basic Reproduction Number , Bayes Theorem , Betacoronavirus/classification , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cities/epidemiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Models, Genetic , Models, Statistical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , Travel , Urban Population
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