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Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) ; 79(9):2070-2070, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1751301
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293429


The use of RNA sequencing from wastewater samples is proven to be a valuable way for estimating infection dynamics and circulating lineages of SARS-CoV-2. This approach has the advantage of being independent from patient population testing and symptomatic disease courses. However, it is equally important to develop easily accessible and scalable tools which can highlight critical changes in infection rates and dynamics over time across different locations given the sequencing data from the wastewater. Here we provide the first analysis of variant dynamics in Germany using wastewater sequencing and present PiGx SARS-CoV-2, a bit-by-bit reproducible end-to-end pipeline with comprehensive reports. To our knowledge, this is the first pipeline that includes all steps from raw-data to shareable reports, additional taxonomic analysis, deconvolution and geospatial time series analysis. Using our pipeline on a dataset of wastewater samples, from different locations across Berlin, over the time period from February 2021 to June 2021, we could reconstruct the dynamic of the Variant of Concern (VoC) B.1.1.7 (alpha). Additionally, we detected the unique signature mutation M:T26767C for the VoC B.1.617.2 (delta) and its raise in early June. We also show that SARS-CoV-2 mutation load measured from wastewater sequencing is correlated with actual case numbers and it has potential to be used in a predictive manner. All in all, our study provides additional evidence that systematic wastewater analysis using sequencing and computational methods can be used for modeling the infection dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the results show that our tool can be used to tease out new mutations and to detect any emerging new lineages of concern before clinical detection. Our approach can support efforts for establishing continuous monitoring and early-warning projects for COVID-19 or any other infectious disease.

EClinicalMedicine ; 40: 101099, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385454


BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been increasing urgency to identify pathophysiological characteristics leading to severe clinical course in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Human leukocyte antigen alleles (HLA) have been suggested as potential genetic host factors that affect individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2. We sought to evaluate this hypothesis by conducting a multicenter study using HLA sequencing. METHODS: We analyzed the association between COVID-19 severity and HLAs in 435 individuals from Germany (n = 135), Spain (n = 133), Switzerland (n = 20) and the United States (n = 147), who had been enrolled from March 2020 to August 2020. This study included patients older than 18 years, diagnosed with COVID-19 and representing the full spectrum of the disease. Finally, we tested our results by meta-analysing data from prior genome-wide association studies (GWAS). FINDINGS: We describe a potential association of HLA-C*04:01 with severe clinical course of COVID-19. Carriers of HLA-C*04:01 had twice the risk of intubation when infected with SARS-CoV-2 (risk ratio 1.5 [95% CI 1.1-2.1], odds ratio 3.5 [95% CI 1.9-6.6], adjusted p-value = 0.0074). These findings are based on data from four countries and corroborated by independent results from GWAS. Our findings are biologically plausible, as HLA-C*04:01 has fewer predicted bindings sites for relevant SARS-CoV-2 peptides compared to other HLA alleles. INTERPRETATION: HLA-C*04:01 carrier state is associated with severe clinical course in SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest that HLA class I alleles have a relevant role in immune defense against SARS-CoV-2. FUNDING: Funded by Roche Sequencing Solutions, Inc.