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Commun Biol ; 5(1): 439, 2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839575


SARS-CoV-2 variants shaped the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discourse around effective control measures. Evaluating the threat posed by a new variant is essential for adapting response efforts when community transmission is detected. In this study, we compare the dynamics of two variants, Alpha and Iota, by integrating genomic surveillance data to estimate the effective reproduction number (Rt) of the variants. We use Connecticut, United States, in which Alpha and Iota co-circulated in 2021. We find that the Rt of these variants were up to 50% larger than that of other variants. We then use phylogeography to show that while both variants were introduced into Connecticut at comparable frequencies, clades that resulted from introductions of Alpha were larger than those resulting from Iota introductions. By monitoring the dynamics of individual variants throughout our study period, we demonstrate the importance of routine surveillance in the response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genomics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States/epidemiology
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295251


New York State, in particular the New York City metropolitan area, was the early epicenter of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the United States. Similar to initial pandemic dynamics in many metropolitan areas, multiple introductions from various locations appear to have contributed to the swell of positive cases. However, representation and analysis of samples from New York regions outside the greater New York City area were lacking, as were SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the earliest cases associated with the Westchester County outbreak, which represents the first outbreak recorded in New York State. The Wadsworth Center, the public health laboratory of New York State, sought to characterize the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 across the entire state of New York from March to September with the addition of over 600 genomes from under-sampled and previously unsampled New York counties and to more fully understand the breadth of the initial outbreak in Westchester County. Additional sequencing confirmed the dominance of B.1 and descendant lineages (collectively referred to as B.1.X) in New York State. Community structure, phylogenetic, and phylogeographic analyses suggested that the Westchester outbreak was associated with continued transmission of the virus throughout the state, even after travel restrictions and the on-pause measures of March, contributing to a substantial proportion of the B.1 transmission clusters as of September 30 th , 2020.

Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295250


The E484K mutation in the spike protein of SARS CoV-2 contributes to immune escape from monoclonal antibodies as well as neutralizing antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma. It appears in two variants of concern – B.1.351 and P.1 - but has evolved multiple times in different SARS-CoV-2 lineages, suggesting an adaptive advantage. Here we report on the emergence of a 484K variant in the B.1.526 lineage that has recently become prevalent in New York State, particularly in the New York City metropolitan area. In addition to the E484K mutation, these variants also harbor a D235G substitution in spike that might help to reduce the efficacy of neutralizing antibodies.

Cell ; 184(10): 2595-2604.e13, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163482


The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, first detected in the United Kingdom, has become a global public health concern because of its increased transmissibility. Over 2,500 COVID-19 cases associated with this variant have been detected in the United States (US) since December 2020, but the extent of establishment is relatively unknown. Using travel, genomic, and diagnostic data, we highlight that the primary ports of entry for B.1.1.7 in the US were in New York, California, and Florida. Furthermore, we found evidence for many independent B.1.1.7 establishments starting in early December 2020, followed by interstate spread by the end of the month. Finally, we project that B.1.1.7 will be the dominant lineage in many states by mid- to late March. Thus, genomic surveillance for B.1.1.7 and other variants urgently needs to be enhanced to better inform the public health response.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States/epidemiology