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Viruses ; 14(8)2022 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969493


In the present study, we provide a retrospective genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Lebanon; we newly sequence the viral genomes of 200 nasopharyngeal samples collected between July 2020 and February 2021 from patients in different regions of Lebanon and from travelers crossing the Lebanese-Syrian border, and we also analyze the Lebanese genomic dataset available at GISAID. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 infections in Lebanon during this period were shaped by the turnovers of four dominant SARS-CoV-2 lineages, with B.1.398 being the first to thoroughly dominate. Lebanon acted as a dispersal center of B.1.398 to other countries, with intercontinental transmissions being more common than within-continent. Within the country, the district of Tripoli, which was the source of 43% of the total B.1.398 sequences in our study, was identified as being an important source of dispersal in the country. In conclusion, our findings exemplify the butterfly effect, by which a lineage that emerges in a small area can be spread around the world, and highlight the potential role of developing countries in the emergence of new variants.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331250


In Dec 2021-Feb 2022, an intense and unprecedented co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants with high genetic diversity raised the question of possible co-infections between variants and how to detect them. Using 11 mixes of Delta:Omicron isolates at different ratios, we evaluated the performance of 4 different sets of primers used for whole-genome sequencing and we developed an unbiased bioinformatics method which can detect all co-infections irrespective of the SARS-CoV-2 lineages involved. Applied on 21,387 samples collected between weeks 49-2021 and 08-2022 from random genomic surveillance in France, we detected 53 co-infections between different lineages. The prevalence of Delta and Omicron (BA.1) co-infections and Omicron lineages BA.1 and BA.2 co-infections were estimated at 0.18% and 0.26%, respectively. Among 6,242 hospitalized patients, the intensive care unit (ICU) admission rates were 1.64%, 4.81% and 15.38% in Omicron, Delta and Delta/Omicron patients, respectively. No BA.1/BA.2 co-infections were reported among ICU admitted patients. Although SARS-CoV-2 co-infections were rare in this study, their proper detection is crucial to evaluate their clinical impact and the risk of the emergence of potential recombinants.

Euro Surveill ; 26(3)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041125


We report the strategy leading to the first detection of variant of concern 202012/01 (VOC) in France (21 December 2020). First, the spike (S) deletion H69-V70 (ΔH69/ΔV70), identified in certain SARS-CoV-2 variants including VOC, is screened for. This deletion is associated with a S-gene target failure (SGTF) in the three-target RT-PCR assay (TaqPath kit). Subsequently, SGTF samples are whole genome sequenced. This approach revealed mutations co-occurring with ΔH69/ΔV70 including S:N501Y in the VOC.

Base Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Deletion/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , France/epidemiology , Humans