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Clin Infect Dis ; 75(Supplement_1): S110-S120, 2022 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992148


BACKGROUND: Comprehensive pathogen genomic surveillance represents a powerful tool to complement and advance precision vaccinology. The emergence of the Alpha variant in December 2020 and the resulting efforts to track the spread of this and other severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern led to an expansion of genomic sequencing activities in Germany. METHODS: At Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German National Institute of Public Health, we established the Integrated Molecular Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 (IMS-SC2) network to perform SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance at the national scale, SARS-CoV-2-positive samples from laboratories distributed across Germany regularly undergo whole-genome sequencing at RKI. RESULTS: We report analyses of 3623 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected between December 2020 and December 2021, of which 3282 were randomly sampled. All variants of concern were identified in the sequenced sample set, at ratios equivalent to those in the 100-fold larger German GISAID sequence dataset from the same time period. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed variant assignments. Multiple mutations of concern emerged during the observation period. To model vaccine effectiveness in vitro, we employed authentic-virus neutralization assays, confirming that both the Beta and Zeta variants are capable of immune evasion. The IMS-SC2 sequence dataset facilitated an estimate of the SARS-CoV-2 incidence based on genetic evolution rates. Together with modeled vaccine efficacies, Delta-specific incidence estimation indicated that the German vaccination campaign contributed substantially to a deceleration of the nascent German Delta wave. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 molecular and genomic surveillance may inform public health policies including vaccination strategies and enable a proactive approach to controlling coronavirus disease 2019 spread as the virus evolves.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccinology
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e141, 2022 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956390


In daycare centres, the close contact of children with other children and employees favours the transmission of infections. The majority of children <6 years attend daycare programmes in Germany, but the role of daycare centres in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is unclear. We investigated the transmission risk in daycare centres and the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to associated households. 30 daycare groups with at least one recent laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 case were enrolled in the study (10/2020-06/2021). Close contact persons within daycare and households were examined over a 12-day period (repeated SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests, genetic sequencing of viruses, symptom diary). Households were interviewed to gain comprehensive information on each outbreak. We determined primary cases for all daycare groups. The number of secondary cases varied considerably between daycare groups. The pooled secondary attack rate (SAR) across all 30 daycare centres was 9.6%. The SAR tended to be higher when the Alpha variant was detected (15.9% vs. 5.1% with evidence of wild type). The household SAR was 53.3%. Exposed daycare children were less likely to get infected with SARS-CoV-2 than employees (7.7% vs. 15.5%). Containment measures in daycare programmes are critical to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, especially to avoid spread to associated households.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 7430, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1162021


Bats are known to be reservoirs of several highly pathogenic viruses. Hence, the interest in bat virus discovery has been increasing rapidly over the last decade. So far, most studies have focused on a single type of virus detection method, either PCR, virus isolation or virome sequencing. Here we present a comprehensive approach in virus discovery, using all three discovery methods on samples from the same bats. By family-specific PCR screening we found sequences of paramyxoviruses, adenoviruses, herpesviruses and one coronavirus. By cell culture we isolated a novel bat adenovirus and bat orthoreovirus. Virome sequencing revealed viral sequences of ten different virus families and orders: three bat nairoviruses, three phenuiviruses, one orbivirus, one rotavirus, one orthoreovirus, one mononegavirus, five parvoviruses, seven picornaviruses, three retroviruses, one totivirus and two thymoviruses were discovered. Of all viruses identified by family-specific PCR in the original samples, none was found by metagenomic sequencing. Vice versa, none of the viruses found by the metagenomic virome approach was detected by family-specific PCRs targeting the same family. The discrepancy of detected viruses by different detection approaches suggests that a combined approach using different detection methods is necessary for virus discovery studies.

Chiroptera/virology , Genome, Viral , Virome/genetics , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Germany , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Nairovirus/classification , Nairovirus/genetics , Orbivirus/classification , Orbivirus/genetics , Phylogeny , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Rotavirus/classification , Rotavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics