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1.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753688

ABSTRACT

Documenting the circulation dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 variants in different regions of the world is crucial for monitoring virus transmission worldwide and contributing to global efforts towards combating the pandemic. Tunisia has experienced several waves of COVID-19 with a significant number of infections and deaths. The present study provides genetic information on the different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 that circulated in Tunisia over 17 months. Lineages were assigned for 1359 samples using whole-genome sequencing, partial S gene sequencing and variant-specific real-time RT-PCR tests. Forty-eight different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 were identified, including variants of concern (VOCs), variants of interest (VOIs) and variants under monitoring (VUMs), particularly Alpha, Beta, Delta, A.27, Zeta and Eta. The first wave, limited to imported and import-related cases, was characterized by a small number of positive samples and lineages. During the second wave, a large number of lineages were detected; the third wave was marked by the predominance of the Alpha VOC, and the fourth wave was characterized by the predominance of the Delta VOC. This study adds new genomic data to the global context of COVID-19, particularly from the North African region, and highlights the importance of the timely molecular characterization of circulating strains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tunisia/epidemiology
2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(10)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742167

ABSTRACT

Following emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron in November 2021, the dominant BA.1 sub-lineage was replaced by the BA.2 sub-lineage in Denmark. We analysed the first 2,623 BA.2 cases from 29 November 2021 to 2 January 2022. No epidemiological or clinical differences were found between individuals infected with BA.1 versus BA.2. Phylogenetic analyses showed a geographic east-to-west transmission of BA.2 from the Capital Region with clusters expanding after the Christmas holidays. Mutational analysis shows distinct differences between BA.1 and BA.2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Denmark/epidemiology , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
Gene ; 823: 146387, 2022 May 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719767

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quickly swept over the world, becoming one of the most devastating outbreaks in human history. Being the first pandemic in the post-genomic era, advancements in genomics contributed significantly to scientific understanding and public health response to COVID-19. Genomic technologies have been employed by researchers all over the world to better understand the biology of SARS-CoV-2 and its origin, genomic diversity, and evolution. Worldwide genomic resources have greatly aided in the investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has ushered in a new era of genomic surveillance, wherein scientists are tracking the changes of the SARS-CoV-2 genome in real-time at the international and national levels. Availability of genomic and proteomic information enables the rapid development of molecular diagnostics and therapeutics. The advent of high-throughput sequencing and genome editing technologies led to the development of modern vaccines. We briefly discuss the impact of genomics in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in this review.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Genomics/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/classification
4.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1689-1692, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718387

ABSTRACT

The appearance of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 carrying mutations into the spike protein has recently raised concern with respect to tracking their transmission and mitigating the impact in the evolving pandemic across countries. AY.4.2, a recently detected Delta variant sublineage, is considered a new variant under investigation (VUI) as it carries specific genetic signatures present in the spike protein, called Y145H and A222V. Here, using genomic epidemiology, we provide the first preliminary insight regarding the circulation of this emerging VUI in Italy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Child , Female , Genomics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 671, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671559

ABSTRACT

Hospital outbreaks of COVID19 result in considerable mortality and disruption to healthcare services and yet little is known about transmission within this setting. We characterise within hospital transmission by combining viral genomic and epidemiological data using Bayesian modelling amongst 2181 patients and healthcare workers from a large UK NHS Trust. Transmission events were compared between Wave 1 (1st March to 25th J'uly 2020) and Wave 2 (30th November 2020 to 24th January 2021). We show that staff-to-staff transmissions reduced from 31.6% to 12.9% of all infections. Patient-to-patient transmissions increased from 27.1% to 52.1%. 40%-50% of hospital-onset patient cases resulted in onward transmission compared to 4% of community-acquired cases. Control measures introduced during the pandemic likely reduced transmissions between healthcare workers but were insufficient to prevent increasing numbers of patient-to-patient transmissions. As hospital-acquired cases drive most onward transmission, earlier identification of nosocomial cases will be required to break hospital transmission chains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Molecular Epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Bayes Theorem , Cohort Studies , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology
6.
Brief Bioinform ; 23(2)2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639367

ABSTRACT

Genomic epidemiology is important to study the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than two million severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomic sequences were deposited into public databases. However, the exponential increase of sequences invokes unprecedented bioinformatic challenges. Here, we present the Coronavirus GenBrowser (CGB) based on a highly efficient analysis framework and a node-picking rendering strategy. In total, 1,002,739 high-quality genomic sequences with the transmission-related metadata were analyzed and visualized. The size of the core data file is only 12.20 MB, highly efficient for clean data sharing. Quick visualization modules and rich interactive operations are provided to explore the annotated SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary tree. CGB binary nomenclature is proposed to name each internal lineage. The pre-analyzed data can be filtered out according to the user-defined criteria to explore the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Different evolutionary analyses can also be easily performed, such as the detection of accelerated evolution and ongoing positive selection. Moreover, the 75 genomic spots conserved in SARS-CoV-2 but non-conserved in other coronaviruses were identified, which may indicate the functional elements specifically important for SARS-CoV-2. The CGB was written in Java and JavaScript. It not only enables users who have no programming skills to analyze millions of genomic sequences, but also offers a panoramic vision of the transmission and evolution of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Public Health Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Software , Web Browser , Computational Biology/methods , DNA Mutational Analysis , Databases, Genetic , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology/methods , Molecular Sequence Annotation , Mutation
7.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc ; 10(Supplement_4): S88-S95, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593724

ABSTRACT

Hospital outbreak investigations are high-stakes epidemiology. Contacts between staff and patients are numerous; environmental and community exposures are plentiful; and patients are highly vulnerable. Having the best data is paramount to understanding an outbreak in order to stop ongoing transmission and prevent future outbreaks. In the past 5 years, the high-resolution view of transmission offered by analyzing pathogen whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is increasingly part of hospital outbreak investigations. Concerns over speed and actionability, assay validation, liability, cost, and payment models lead to further opportunities for work in this area. Now accelerated by funding for COVID-19, the use of genomics in hospital outbreak investigations has firmly moved from the academic literature to more quotidian operations, with associated concerns involving regulatory affairs, data integration, and clinical interpretation. This review details past uses of WGS data in hospital-acquired infection outbreaks as well as future opportunities to increase its utility and growth in hospital infection prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Hospitals , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Cell ; 185(3): 485-492.e10, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588148

ABSTRACT

An outbreak of over 1,000 COVID-19 cases in Provincetown, Massachusetts (MA), in July 2021-the first large outbreak mostly in vaccinated individuals in the US-prompted a comprehensive public health response, motivating changes to national masking recommendations and raising questions about infection and transmission among vaccinated individuals. To address these questions, we combined viral genomic and epidemiological data from 467 individuals, including 40% of outbreak-associated cases. The Delta variant accounted for 99% of cases in this dataset; it was introduced from at least 40 sources, but 83% of cases derived from a single source, likely through transmission across multiple settings over a short time rather than a single event. Genomic and epidemiological data supported multiple transmissions of Delta from and between fully vaccinated individuals. However, despite its magnitude, the outbreak had limited onward impact in MA and the US overall, likely due to high vaccination rates and a robust public health response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing/methods , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Vaccination , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
10.
Nature ; 600(7889): 408-418, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560796

ABSTRACT

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were documented in Wuhan, China in 2019, the world has witnessed a devastating global pandemic, with more than 238 million cases, nearly 5 million fatalities and the daily number of people infected increasing rapidly. Here we describe the currently available data on the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19, outline the early viral spread in Wuhan and its transmission patterns in China and across the rest of the world, and highlight how genomic surveillance, together with other data such as those on human mobility, has helped to trace the spread and genetic variation of the virus and has also comprised a key element for the control of the pandemic. We pay particular attention to characterizing and describing the international spread of the major variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 that were first identified in late 2020 and demonstrate that virus evolution has entered a new phase. More broadly, we highlight our currently limited understanding of coronavirus diversity in nature, the rapid spread of the virus and its variants in such an increasingly connected world, the reduced protection of vaccines, and the urgent need for coordinated global surveillance using genomic techniques. In summary, we provide important information for the prevention and control of both the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and any new diseases that will inevitably emerge in the human population in future generations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Internationality , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Humans , Mink/virology , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
13.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(9): e1009300, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546830

ABSTRACT

Outbreak investigations use data from interviews, healthcare providers, laboratories and surveillance systems. However, integrated use of data from multiple sources requires a patchwork of software that present challenges in usability, interoperability, confidentiality, and cost. Rapid integration, visualization and analysis of data from multiple sources can guide effective public health interventions. We developed MicrobeTrace to facilitate rapid public health responses by overcoming barriers to data integration and exploration in molecular epidemiology. MicrobeTrace is a web-based, client-side, JavaScript application (https://microbetrace.cdc.gov) that runs in Chromium-based browsers and remains fully operational without an internet connection. Using publicly available data, we demonstrate the analysis of viral genetic distance networks and introduce a novel approach to minimum spanning trees that simplifies results. We also illustrate the potential utility of MicrobeTrace in support of contact tracing by analyzing and displaying data from an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in South Korea in early 2020. MicrobeTrace is developed and actively maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Users can email microbetrace@cdc.gov for support. The source code is available at https://github.com/cdcgov/microbetrace.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Data Visualization , Molecular Epidemiology/methods , Public Health/methods , Software , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , United States
14.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0188221, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522930

ABSTRACT

Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 with high transmission and immune evasion potential, the so-called variants of concern (VOC), is a major concern. We describe the early genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 recovered from vaccinated health care professionals (HCP). Our postvaccination COVID-19 symptoms-based surveillance program among HCPs in a 17-hospital network identified all vaccinated HCPs who tested positive for COVID-19 after routine screening or after self-reporting. From 1 January 2021 to 30 April 2021, 23,687 HCPs received either mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. All available postvaccination SARS-CoV-2 samples and a random collection from nonvaccinated patients during the similar time frame were subjected to VOC screening and whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Sixty-two percent (23,697/37,500) of HCPs received at least one vaccine dose, with 60% (22,458) fully vaccinated. We detected 138 (0.58%, 138/23,697) COVID-19 cases, 105 among partially vaccinated and 33 (0.15%, 33/22,458) among fully vaccinated. Five partially vaccinated required hospitalization, four with supplemental oxygen. VOC screening from 16 fully vaccinated HCPs identified 6 (38%) harboring N501Y and 1 (6%) with E484K polymorphisms; percentage of concurrent nonvaccinated samples was 37% (523/1,404) and 20% (284/1,394), respectively. There was an upward trend from January to April for E484K/Q (3% to 26%) and N501Y (1% to 49%). WGS analysis from vaccinated and nonvaccinated individuals indicated highly congruent phylogenies. We did not detect an increased frequency of any receptor-binding domain (RBD)/N-terminal domain (NTD) polymorphism between groups (P > 0.05). Our results support robust protection by vaccination, particularly among recipients of both doses. Despite VOCs accounting for over 40% of SARS-CoV-2 from fully vaccinated individuals, the genomic diversity appears to proportionally represent VOCs among nonvaccinated populations. IMPORTANCE A number of highly effective vaccines have been developed and deployed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence and epidemiological dominance of SARS-CoV-2 mutants with high transmission potential and immune evasion properties, the so-called variants of concern (VOC), continue to be a major concern. Whether these VOCs alter the efficacy of the administered vaccines is of great concern and a critical question to study. We describe the initial genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 recovered from partial/fully vaccinated health care professionals and probe specifically for VOC enrichment. Our findings support the high level of protection provided by full vaccination despite a steep increase in the prevalence of polymorphisms associated with increased transmission potential (N501Y) and immune evasion (E484K) in the nonvaccinated population. Thus, we do not find evidence of VOC enrichment among vaccinated groups. Overall, the genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 recovered postvaccination appears to proportionally represent the observed viral diversity within the community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Studies , Genomics , Health Personnel , Molecular Epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Genotype , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , New Jersey , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
15.
Science ; 374(6570): 995-999, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526449

ABSTRACT

Delhi, the national capital of India, experienced multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks in 2020 and reached population seropositivity of >50% by 2021. During April 2021, the city became overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and fatalities, as a new variant, B.1.617.2 (Delta), replaced B.1.1.7 (Alpha). A Bayesian model explains the growth advantage of Delta through a combination of increased transmissibility and reduced sensitivity to immune responses generated against earlier variants (median estimates: 1.5-fold greater transmissibility and 20% reduction in sensitivity). Seropositivity of an employee and family cohort increased from 42% to 87.5% between March and July 2021, with 27% reinfections, as judged by increased antibody concentration after a previous decline. The likely high transmissibility and partial evasion of immunity by the Delta variant contributed to an overwhelming surge in Delhi.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Humans , Immune Evasion , India/epidemiology , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Reinfection , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
16.
Elife ; 102021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513059

ABSTRACT

The emergence of mutant K13-mediated artemisinin (ART) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites has led to widespread treatment failures across Southeast Asia. In Africa, K13-propeller genotyping confirms the emergence of the R561H mutation in Rwanda and highlights the continuing dominance of wild-type K13 elsewhere. Using gene editing, we show that R561H, along with C580Y and M579I, confer elevated in vitro ART resistance in some African strains, contrasting with minimal changes in ART susceptibility in others. C580Y and M579I cause substantial fitness costs, which may slow their dissemination in high-transmission settings, in contrast with R561H that in African 3D7 parasites is fitness neutral. In Cambodia, K13 genotyping highlights the increasing spatio-temporal dominance of C580Y. Editing multiple K13 mutations into a panel of Southeast Asian strains reveals that only the R561H variant yields ART resistance comparable to C580Y. In Asian Dd2 parasites C580Y shows no fitness cost, in contrast with most other K13 mutations tested, including R561H. Editing of point mutations in ferredoxin or mdr2, earlier associated with resistance, has no impact on ART susceptibility or parasite fitness. These data underline the complex interplay between K13 mutations, parasite survival, growth and genetic background in contributing to the spread of ART resistance.


Subject(s)
Artemisinins/pharmacology , Drug Resistance/drug effects , Drug Resistance/genetics , Mutation , Plasmodium falciparum/drug effects , Plasmodium falciparum/genetics , Protozoan Proteins/genetics , Africa , Antimalarials/pharmacology , Asia , Cambodia , Humans , Malaria, Falciparum/epidemiology , Malaria, Falciparum/parasitology , Molecular Epidemiology
17.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 169, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496206

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Québec was the Canadian province most impacted by COVID-19, with 401,462 cases as of September 24th, 2021, and 11,347 deaths due mostly to a very severe first pandemic wave. In April 2020, we assembled the Coronavirus Sequencing in Québec (CoVSeQ) consortium to sequence SARS-CoV-2 genomes in Québec to track viral introduction events and transmission within the province. METHODS: Using genomic epidemiology, we investigated the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 to Québec. We report 2921 high-quality SARS-CoV-2 genomes in the context of > 12,000 publicly available genomes sampled globally over the first pandemic wave (up to June 1st, 2020). By combining phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses with epidemiological data, we quantify the number of introduction events into Québec, identify their origins, and characterize the spatiotemporal spread of the virus. RESULTS: Conservatively, we estimated approximately 600 independent introduction events, the majority of which happened from spring break until 2 weeks after the Canadian border closed for non-essential travel. Subsequent mass repatriations did not generate large transmission lineages (> 50 sequenced cases), likely due to mandatory quarantine measures in place at the time. Consistent with common spring break and "snowbird" destinations, most of the introductions were inferred to have originated from Europe via the Americas. Once introduced into Québec, viral lineage sizes were overdispersed, with a few lineages giving rise to most infections. Consistent with founder effects, the earliest lineages to arrive tended to spread most successfully. Fewer than 100 viral introductions arrived during spring break, of which 7-12 led to the largest transmission lineages of the first wave (accounting for 52-75% of all sequenced infections). These successful transmission lineages dispersed widely across the province. Transmission lineage size was greatly reduced after March 11th, when a quarantine order for returning travellers was enacted. While this suggests the effectiveness of early public health measures, the biggest transmission lineages had already been ignited prior to this order. CONCLUSIONS: Combined, our results reinforce how, in the absence of tight travel restrictions or quarantine measures, fewer than 100 viral introductions in a week can ensure the establishment of extended transmission chains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Canada/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Public Health , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel
18.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481008

ABSTRACT

Measles virus (MeV) genotype B3 is one globally significant circulating genotype. Here, we present a systematic description of long-term evolutionary characterizations of the MeV genotype B3's hemagglutinin (H) gene in the elimination era. Our results show that the B3 H gene can be divided into two main sub-genotypes, and the highest intra-genotypic diversity was observed in 2004. MeV genotype B3's H gene diverged in 1976; its overall nucleotide substitution rate is estimated to be 5.697 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year, and is slowing down. The amino acid substitution rate of genotype B3's H gene is also decreasing, and the mean effective population size has been in a downward trend since 2000. Selection pressure analysis only recognized a few sites under positive selection, and the number of positive selection sites is getting smaller. All of these observations may reveal that genotype B3's H gene is not under strong selection pressure, and is becoming increasingly conservative. MeV H-gene or whole-genome sequencing should be routine, so as to better elucidate the molecular epidemiology of MeV in the future.


Subject(s)
Hemagglutinins, Viral/genetics , Measles virus/genetics , China , Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genotype , Hemagglutinins/genetics , Humans , Measles/virology , Molecular Epidemiology/methods , Phylogeny , Sequence Analysis, DNA/methods
19.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(12): e1658-e1666, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Advances in SARS-CoV-2 sequencing have enabled identification of new variants, tracking of its evolution, and monitoring of its spread. We aimed to use whole genome sequencing to describe the molecular epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and to inform the implementation of effective public health interventions for control in Zimbabwe. METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of nasopharyngeal samples collected from nine laboratories in Zimbabwe between March 20 and Oct 16, 2020. Samples were taken as a result of quarantine procedures for international arrivals or to test for infection in people who were symptomatic or close contacts of positive cases. Samples that had a cycle threshold of less than 30 in the diagnostic PCR test were processed for sequencing. We began our analysis in July, 2020 (120 days since the first case), with a follow-up in October, 2020 (at 210 days since the first case). The phylogenetic relationship of the genome sequences within Zimbabwe and global samples was established using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. FINDINGS: Of 92 299 nasopharyngeal samples collected during the study period, 8099 were PCR-positive and 328 were available for sequencing, with 156 passing sequence quality control. 83 (53%) of 156 were from female participants. At least 26 independent introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Zimbabwe in the first 210 days were associated with 12 global lineages. 151 (97%) of 156 had the Asp614Gly mutation in the spike protein. Most cases, 93 (60%), were imported from outside Zimbabwe. Community transmission was reported 6 days after the onset of the outbreak. INTERPRETATION: Initial public health interventions delayed onset of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission after the introduction of the virus from international and regional migration in Zimbabwe. Global whole genome sequence data are essential to reveal major routes of spread and guide intervention strategies. FUNDING: WHO, Africa CDC, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, and Genome Research Limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , Genome, Viral , Public Health Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Travel-Related Illness , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
20.
Nature ; 600(7889): 506-511, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467111

ABSTRACT

The evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus leads to new variants that warrant timely epidemiological characterization. Here we use the dense genomic surveillance data generated by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium to reconstruct the dynamics of 71 different lineages in each of 315 English local authorities between September 2020 and June 2021. This analysis reveals a series of subepidemics that peaked in early autumn 2020, followed by a jump in transmissibility of the B.1.1.7/Alpha lineage. The Alpha variant grew when other lineages declined during the second national lockdown and regionally tiered restrictions between November and December 2020. A third more stringent national lockdown suppressed the Alpha variant and eliminated nearly all other lineages in early 2021. Yet a series of variants (most of which contained the spike E484K mutation) defied these trends and persisted at moderately increasing proportions. However, by accounting for sustained introductions, we found that the transmissibility of these variants is unlikely to have exceeded the transmissibility of the Alpha variant. Finally, B.1.617.2/Delta was repeatedly introduced in England and grew rapidly in early summer 2021, constituting approximately 98% of sampled SARS-CoV-2 genomes on 26 June 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , COVID-19/transmission , England/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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