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1.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.09.21260277

ABSTRACT

Background: To reduce the coronavirus disease burden in England, along with many other countries, the Government implemented a package of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that have also impacted other transmissible infectious diseases such as norovirus. It is unclear what future norovirus disease incidence is likely to look like upon lifting these restrictions. Methods: Here we use a mathematical model of norovirus fitted to community incidence data in England to project forward expected incidence based on contact surveys that have been collected throughout 2020-2021. Results: We report that susceptibility to norovirus infection has likely increased between March 2020 to mid-2021. Depending upon assumptions of future contact patterns incidence of norovirus that is similar to pre-pandemic levels or an increase beyond what has been previously reported is likely to occur once restrictions are lifted. Should adult contact patterns return to 80% of pre-pandemic levels the incidence of norovirus will be similar to previous years. If contact patterns return to pre-pandemic levels there is a potential for the expected annual incidence to be up to 2-fold larger than in a typical year. The age-specific incidence is similar across all ages. Conclusions: Continued national surveillance for endemic diseases such as norovirus will be essential after NPIs are lifted to allow healthcare services to adequately prepare for a potential increase in cases and hospital pressures beyond what is typically experienced.


Subject(s)
4255 , 31543 , 59585
2.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.15.444301

ABSTRACT

A homoplasy is a trait shared between individuals that did not arise in a common ancestor, but rather is the result of convergent evolution. SARS-CoV-2 homoplasic mutations are important to characterise, because the evidence for a mutation conferring a fitness advantage is strengthened if this mutation has evolved independently and repeatedly in separate viral lineages. Yet detecting homoplasy is difficult due to insufficient variation between sequences to construct reliable phylogenetic trees. Here, we develop a method to more robustly identify confident homoplasies. We derive a maximum likelihood (ML) tree, with taxa bearing seemingly recurrent mutations dispersed across the tree, and then, for each potentially homoplasic mutation, we derive an alternative tree where the same taxa are constrained to one clade such that the mutation is no longer homoplasic. We then compare how well the two trees fit the sequence data. Applying this method to SARS-CoV-2 yields only a few instances where the constrained trees have significantly less statistical support than unconstrained tree, suggesting phylogenetics can provide limited support for homoplasy in SARS-CoV-2 and that caution is needed when inferring evidence of convergent evolution from phylogenetic methods in the absence of evidence from other sources.


Subject(s)
232
3.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.18.20230599

ABSTRACT

While changes in SARS-CoV-2 viral load over time have been documented, detailed information on the impact of remdesivir and how it might alter intra-host viral evolution is limited. Sequential viral loads and deep sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 recovered from the upper respiratory tract of hospitalised children revealed that remdesivir treatment suppressed viral RNA levels in one patient but not in a second infected with an identical strain. Evidence of drug resistance to explain this difference was not found. Reduced levels of subgenomic (sg) RNA during treatment of the second patient, suggest an additional effect of remdesivir on viral replication that is independent of viral RNA levels. Haplotype reconstruction uncovered persistent SARS-CoV-2 variant genotypes in four patients. We conclude that these are likely to have arisen from within-host evolution, and not co-transmission, although superinfection cannot be excluded in one case. Sample-to-sample heterogeneity in the abundances of variant genotypes is best explained by the presence of discrete viral populations in the lung with incomplete population sampling in diagnostic swabs. Such compartmentalisation is well described in serious lung infections caused by influenza and Mycobacterium tuberculosis and has been associated with poor drug penetration, suboptimal treatment and drug resistance. Our data provide evidence that remdesivir is able to suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication in vivo but that its efficacy may be compromised by factors reducing penetration into the lung. Based on data from influenza and Mycobacterium tuberculosis lung infections we conclude that early use of remdesivir combined with other agents should now be evaluated. Summary SentenceDeep sequencing of longitudinal samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected paediatric patients identifies evidence of remdesivir-associated inhibition of viral replication in vivo and uncovers evidence of within host evolution of distinct viral genotypes.


Subject(s)
14778 , 8348
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