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1.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261014, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622333

ABSTRACT

High viral transmission in the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled SARS-CoV-2 to acquire new mutations that may impact genome sequencing methods. The ARTIC.v3 primer pool that amplifies short amplicons in a multiplex-PCR reaction is one of the most widely used methods for sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 genome. We observed that some genomic intervals are poorly captured with ARTIC primers. To improve the genomic coverage and variant detection across these intervals, we designed long amplicon primers and evaluated the performance of a short (ARTIC) plus long amplicon (MRL) sequencing approach. Sequencing assays were optimized on VR-1986D-ATCC RNA followed by sequencing of nasopharyngeal swab specimens from fifteen COVID-19 positive patients. ARTIC data covered 94.47% of the virus genome fraction in the positive control and patient samples. Variant analysis in the ARTIC data detected 217 mutations, including 209 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and eight insertions & deletions. On the other hand, long-amplicon data detected 156 mutations, of which 80% were concordant with ARTIC data. Combined analysis of ARTIC + MRL data improved the genomic coverage to 97.03% and identified 214 high confidence mutations. The combined final set of 214 mutations included 203 SNVs, 8 deletions and 3 insertions. Analysis showed 26 SARS-CoV-2 lineage defining mutations including 4 known variants of concern K417N, E484K, N501Y, P618H in spike gene. Hybrid analysis identified 7 nonsynonymous and 5 synonymous mutations across the genome that were either ambiguous or not called in ARTIC data. For example, G172V mutation in the ORF3a protein and A2A mutation in Membrane protein were missed by the ARTIC assay. Thus, we show that while the short amplicon (ARTIC) assay provides good genomic coverage with high throughput, complementation of poorly captured intervals with long amplicon data can significantly improve SARS-CoV-2 genomic coverage and variant detection.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomics/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , COVID-19/virology , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sequence Analysis/methods
2.
Clin Radiol ; 77(2): 148-155, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611681

ABSTRACT

AIM: To determine if there is a difference in radiological, biochemical, or clinical severity between patients infected with Alpha-variant SARS-CoV-2 compared with those infected with pre-existing strains, and to determine if the computed tomography (CT) severity score (CTSS) for COVID-19 pneumonitis correlates with clinical severity and can prognosticate outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Blinded CTSS scoring was applied to 137 hospital patients who had undergone both CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) and whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 within 14 days of CTPA between 1/12/20-5/1/21. RESULTS: There was no evidence of a difference in imaging severity on CTPA, viral load, clinical parameters of severity, or outcomes between Alpha and preceding variants. CTSS on CTPA strongly correlates with clinical and biochemical severity at the time of CTPA, and with patient outcomes. Classifying CTSS into a binary value of "high" and "low", with a cut-off score of 14, patients with a high score have a significantly increased risk of deterioration, as defined by subsequent admission to critical care or death (multivariate hazard ratio [HR] 2.76, p<0.001), and hospital length of stay (17.4 versus 7.9 days, p<0.0001). CONCLUSION: There was no evidence of a difference in radiological severity of Alpha variant infection compared with pre-existing strains. High CTSS applied to CTPA is associated with increased risk of COVID-19 severity and poorer clinical outcomes and may be of use particularly in settings where CT is not performed for diagnosis of COVID-19 but rather is used following clinical deterioration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Computed Tomography Angiography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Whole Genome Sequencing , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Critical Care , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , United Kingdom , Viral Load
3.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 466, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582018

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: SARS-CoV-2, severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, is an RNA virus that emerged from China sweeping the globe in the form of a pandemic that became an international public health concern. This pilot study aimed to describe the genetic variation and molecular epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Palestine in fall 2020. RESULTS: To achieve these aims, whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, phylogenetic analysis, haplotype networking and genetic diversity analysis were performed. These analyses revealed a unique spike mutation H245N that has never been reported before. The phylogenetic analysis depicted that three clusters existed in Palestinian SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, in which cluster-I comprised the majority of clusters by 90%. Congruently, the haplotype network analysis depicted the same three clusters with a total of 39 haplotypes. The genetic diversity analysis showed that Cluster-I is highly diverse as confirmed by statistically significant mutation rate indices, Tajima's D and Fu-Li's-F tests (- 2.11 and 2.74, respectively), highest number of mutations (Eta = 120), highest number of haplotypes (h = 17), and highest average number of nucleotide differences between any two sequences (S = 118). The study confirmed the high genetic diversity among the Palestinian of SARS-CoV-2 which possessed high number of mutations including one which was reported for the first time.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Arabs , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Middle East , Mutation , Phylogeny , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
4.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(1): 108-119, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574813

ABSTRACT

The global spread and continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has driven an unprecedented surge in viral genomic surveillance. Amplicon-based sequencing methods provide a sensitive, low-cost and rapid approach but suffer a high potential for contamination, which can undermine laboratory processes and results. This challenge will increase with the expanding global production of sequences across a variety of laboratories for epidemiological and clinical interpretation, as well as for genomic surveillance of emerging diseases in future outbreaks. We present SDSI + AmpSeq, an approach that uses 96 synthetic DNA spike-ins (SDSIs) to track samples and detect inter-sample contamination throughout the sequencing workflow. We apply SDSIs to the ARTIC Consortium's amplicon design, demonstrate their utility and efficiency in a real-time investigation of a suspected hospital cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases and validate them across 6,676 diagnostic samples at multiple laboratories. We establish that SDSI + AmpSeq provides increased confidence in genomic data by detecting and correcting for relatively common, yet previously unobserved modes of error, including spillover and sample swaps, without impacting genome recovery.


Subject(s)
DNA Primers/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Quality Control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Sequence Analysis/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing , Workflow
5.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6479-6485, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530178

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) originated in Wuhan, China in early December 2019 has rapidly widespread worldwide. Over the course of the pandemic, due to the advance of whole-genome sequencing technologies, an unprecedented number of genomes have been generated, providing both invaluable insights into the ongoing evolution and epidemiology of the virus and allowing the identification of hundreds of circulating genetic variants during the pandemic. In recent months variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have an increased number of mutations on the Spike protein have brought concern all over the world. These have been called "variants of concerns" (VOCs), and/or "variants of interests" (VOIs) as it has been suggested that their genome mutations might impact transmission, immune control, and virulence. Tracking the spread of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is crucial to inform public health efforts and control the ongoing pandemic. In this review, a concise characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 mutational patterns of the main VOCs and VOIs circulating and cocirculating worldwide has been presented to determine the magnitude of the SARS-CoV-2 threat to better understand the virus genetic diversity and its potential impact on vaccination strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , China/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Mutation Rate , Phylogeny , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Whole Genome Sequencing
6.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0081621, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526453

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcription-PCRs (RT-PCRs) targeting SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) mutations have been developed to simplify their tracking. We evaluated an assay targeting E484K/N501Y to identify B.1.351/P1. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) confirmed only 72 (59.02%) of 122 consecutive RT-PCR P.1/B.1.351 candidates. Prescreening RT-PCRs must target a wider set of mutations, updated from WGS data from emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnostic Errors/statistics & numerical data , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Whole Genome Sequencing
8.
J Virol Methods ; 299: 114333, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525873

ABSTRACT

The increasing prevalence of N501Y variants of SARS-CoV-2 has kindled global concern due to their enhanced transmissibility. Genome sequencing is the gold standard method to identify the emerging variants of concern. But it is time-consuming and expensive, limiting the widespread deployment of genome surveillance in some countries. Health authorities surge the development of alternative assay to expand screening capacity with reduced time and cost. In this study, we developed an in-house TaqMan minor groove binder (MGB) probe-based one-step RT-qPCR assay to detect the presence of N501Y mutation in SARS-CoV-2. A total of 168 SARS-CoV-2 positive respiratory specimens were collected to determine diagnostic accuracy of the RT-qPCR assay. As a reference standard, PANGO lineages and the mutation patterns of all samples were characterised by whole-genome sequencing. The analytical sensitivity and the ability of the assay to detect low frequency of N501Y variants were also evaluated. A total of 31 PANGO lineages were identified from 168 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases, in which 34 samples belonged to N501Y variants, including B.1.1.7 (n = 20), B.1.351 (n = 12) and P.3 (n = 2). The N501Y RT-qPCR correctly identified all 34 samples as N501Y-positive and the other 134 samples as wildtype. The limit-of-detection of the assay consistently achieved 1.5 copies/µL on four different qPCR platforms. N501Y mutation was successfully detected at an allele frequency as low as 10 % in a sample with mixed SARS-CoV-2 lineage. The N501Y RT-qPCR is simple and inexpensive (US$1.6 per sample). It enables robust high-throughput screening for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern harbouring N501Y mutation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Whole Genome Sequencing
9.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 15(10): 1376-1383, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518653

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The first case of severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was imported to Pakistan in February 2020, since then 8,260 deaths have been witnessed. The virus has been constantly mutating and local transmission cases from different countries vary due to host dependent viral adaptation. Many distinct clusters of variant SARS-CoV-2 have been defined globally. In this study, the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 was studied and locally transmitted SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Karachi were sequenced to compared and identify any possible variants. METHODOLOGY: The real time PCR was performed on nasopharyngeal specimen to confirm SARS-CoV-2 with Orf 1ab and E gene as targets. The virus isolates were sequenced through oxford nanopore technology MinION platform. Isolates from the first and second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Karachi were compared. RESULTS: The overall positivity rate for PCR was 26.24% with the highest number of positive cases in June. Approximately, 37.45% PCR positive subjects aged between 19-40 years. All the isolates belonged to GH clade and shared missense mutation D614G in spike protein linked to increased transmission rate worldwide. Another spike protein mutation A222V coexisted with D614G in the virus from the second wave of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the present findings it is suggested that the locally transmitted virus from Karachi varies from those reported from other parts of Pakistan. Slight variability was also observed between viruses from the first and second wave. Variability in any potential vaccine target may result in failed trials, therefore information on any local viral variants is always useful for effective vaccine design and/or selection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Nanopores , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Pakistan , Phylogeny , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Whole Genome Sequencing/instrumentation , Young Adult
10.
Libyan J Med ; 16(1): 2001210, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510835

ABSTRACT

Alpha (B.1.1.7) SARS-COV-2 variant was detected in September 2020 in minks and humans in Denmark and UK. This variant has several mutations in the spike region (S) which could increase the transmissibility of the virus 43-90% over previously circulating variants. The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) announced on 24 February 2021 a 25% frequency of B.1.1.7 strain in Libya using a reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR assay. This assay relies on the specific identification of the H69-V70 deletion in S gene which causes its failure of amplification (SGTF). This deletion is not specific for B.1.1.7, but is also characteristic of two other SARS-COV-2 variants. This study aimed to estimate the frequency of B.1.1.7 and identify other variants circulating in Libya in February 2021. We performed whole genome sequencing of 67 positive SARS-COV-2 samples collected on 25 February 2021 in Libya which were also tested by RT-qPCR for SGTF. Our results showed that 55% of samples had mutations specific to B.1.525 strain and only ~3% of samples belonged to B.1.1.7. These findings suggested that B.1.525 was spreading widely in Libya. The use of such RT-qPCR assay, although useful to track some variants, cannot discriminate between variants with H69-V70 deletion. RT-qPCR assays could be multiplexed to identify multiple variants and screen samples prior to sequencing. We emphasize on the need for providing whole-genome sequencing to the main COVID-19 diagnostic laboratories in Libya as well as establishing international collaboration for building capacity and advancing research in this time of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Libya/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2946-e2951, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waning immunity occurs in patients who have recovered from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, it remains unclear whether true re-infection occurs. METHODS: Whole genome sequencing was performed directly on respiratory specimens collected during 2 episodes of COVID-19 in a patient. Comparative genome analysis was conducted to differentiate re-infection from persistent viral shedding. Laboratory results, including RT-PCR Ct values and serum Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG, were analyzed. RESULTS: The second episode of asymptomatic infection occurred 142 days after the first symptomatic episode in an apparently immunocompetent patient. During the second episode, there was evidence of acute infection including elevated C-reactive protein and SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion. Viral genomes from first and second episodes belong to different clades/lineages. The virus genome from the first episode contained a a stop codon at position 64 of ORF8, leading to a truncation of 58 amino acids. Another 23 nucleotide and 13 amino acid differences located in 9 different proteins, including positions of B and T cell epitopes, were found between viruses from the first and second episodes. Compared to viral genomes in GISAID, the first virus genome was phylogenetically closely related to strains collected in March/April 2020, while the second virus genome was closely related to strains collected in July/August 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Epidemiological, clinical, serological, and genomic analyses confirmed that the patient had re-infection instead of persistent viral shedding from first infection. Our results suggest SARS-CoV-2 may continue to circulate among humans despite herd immunity due to natural infection. Further studies of patients with re-infection will shed light on protective immunological correlates for guiding vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Genome, Viral , Humans , Reinfection , Whole Genome Sequencing
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21632, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500753

ABSTRACT

At Wuhan, in December 2019, the SRAS-CoV-2 outbreak was detected and it has been the pandemic worldwide. This study aims to investigate the mutations in sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and characterize the mutation patterns in Egyptian COVID-19 patients during different waves of infection. The samples were collected from 250 COVID-19 patients and the whole genome sequencing was conducted using Next Generation Sequencing. The viral sequence analysis showed 1115 different genome from all Egyptian samples in the second wave mutations including 613 missense mutations, 431 synonymous mutations, 25 upstream gene mutations, 24 downstream gene mutations, 10 frame-shift deletions, and 6 stop gained mutation. The Egyptian genomic strains sequenced in second wave of infection are different to that of the first wave. We observe a shift of lineage prevalence from the strain B.1 to B.1.1.1. Only one case was of the new English B.1.1.7. Few samples have one or two mutations of interest from the Brazil and South Africa isolates. New clade 20B appear by March 2020 and 20D appear by May 2020 till January 2021.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Whole Genome Sequencing , COVID-19 , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21484, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500516

ABSTRACT

Epidemiological efforts to model the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are crucial to understanding and containing current and future outbreaks and to inform public health responses. Mutations that occur in viral genomes can alter virulence during outbreaks by increasing infection rates and helping the virus evade the host immune system. To understand the changes in viral genomic diversity and molecular epidemiology in Oxford during the first wave of infections in the United Kingdom, we analyzed 563 clinical SARS-CoV-2 samples via whole-genome sequencing using Nanopore MinION sequencing. Large-scale surveillance efforts during viral epidemics are likely to be confounded by the number of independent introductions of the viral strains into a region. To avoid such issues and better understand the selection-based changes occurring in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, we utilized local isolates collected during the UK's first national lockdown whereby personal interactions, international and national travel were considerably restricted and controlled. We were able to track the short-term evolution of the virus, detect the emergence of several mutations of concern or interest, and capture the viral diversity of the region. Overall, these results demonstrate genomic pathogen surveillance efforts have considerable utility in controlling the local spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genetic Variation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21352, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493207

ABSTRACT

The outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection is determined by multiple factors, including the viral, host genetics, age, and comorbidities. This study investigated the association between prognostic factors and disease outcomes of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 with multiple S protein mutations. Fifty-one COVID-19 patients were recruited in this study. Whole-genome sequencing of 170 full-genomes of SARS-CoV-2 was conducted with the Illumina MiSeq sequencer. Most patients (47%) had mild symptoms of COVID-19 followed by moderate (19.6%), no symptoms (13.7%), severe (4%), and critical (2%). Mortality was found in 13.7% of the COVID-19 patients. There was a significant difference between the age of hospitalized patients (53.4 ± 18 years) and the age of non-hospitalized patients (34.6 ± 19) (p = 0.001). The patients' hospitalization was strongly associated with hypertension, diabetes, and anticoagulant and were strongly significant with the OR of 17 (95% CI 2-144; p = 0.001), 4.47 (95% CI 1.07-18.58; p = 0.039), and 27.97 (95% CI 1.54-507.13; p = 0.02), respectively; while the patients' mortality was significantly correlated with patients' age, anticoagulant, steroid, and diabetes, with OR of 8.44 (95% CI 1.5-47.49; p = 0.016), 46.8 (95% CI 4.63-472.77; p = 0.001), 15.75 (95% CI 2-123.86; p = 0.009), and 8.5 (95% CI 1.43-50.66; p = 0.019), respectively. This study found the clade: L (2%), GH (84.3%), GR (11.7%), and O (2%). Besides the D614G mutation, we found L5F (18.8%), V213A (18.8%), and S689R (8.3%). No significant association between multiple S protein mutations and the patients' hospitalization or mortality. Multivariate analysis revealed that hypertension and anticoagulant were the significant factors influencing the hospitalization and mortality of patients with COVID-19 with an OR of 17.06 (95% CI 2.02-144.36; p = 0.009) and 46.8 (95% CI 4.63-472.77; p = 0.001), respectively. Moreover, the multiple S protein mutations almost reached a strong association with patients' hospitalization (p = 0.07). We concluded that hypertension and anticoagulant therapy have a significant impact on COVID-19 outcomes. This study also suggests that multiple S protein mutations may impact the COVID-19 outcomes. This further emphasized the significance of monitoring SARS-CoV-2 variants through genomic surveillance, particularly those that may impact the COVID-19 outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Hospitalization , Humans , Indonesia/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Young Adult
15.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(11): 1507-1517, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492844

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The more infectious SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 rapidly spread in Europe after December, 2020, and a concern that B.1.1.7 could cause more severe disease has been raised. Taking advantage of Denmark's high RT-PCR testing and whole genome sequencing capacities, we used national health register data to assess the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation in individuals infected with B.1.1.7 compared with those with other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. METHODS: We did an observational cohort study of all SARS-CoV-2-positive cases confirmed by RT-PCR in Denmark, sampled between Jan 1 and March 24, 2021, with 14 days of follow-up for COVID-19 hospitalisation. Cases were identified in the national COVID-19 surveillance system database, which includes data from the Danish Microbiology Database (RT-PCR test results), the Danish COVID-19 Genome Consortium, the National Patient Registry, the Civil Registration System, as well as other nationwide registers. Among all cases, COVID-19 hospitalisation was defined as first admission lasting longer than 12 h within 14 days of a sample with a positive RT-PCR result. The study population and main analysis were restricted to the proportion of cases with viral genome data. We calculated the risk ratio (RR) of admission according to infection with B.1.1.7 versus other co-existing lineages with a Poisson regression model with robust SEs, adjusted a priori for sex, age, calendar time, region, and comorbidities. The contribution of each covariate to confounding of the crude RR was evaluated afterwards by a stepwise forward inclusion. FINDINGS: Between Jan 1 and March 24, 2021, 50 958 individuals with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test and at least 14 days of follow-up for hospitalisation were identified; 30 572 (60·0%) had genome data, of whom 10 544 (34·5%) were infected with B.1.1.7. 1944 (6·4%) individuals had a COVID-19 hospitalisation and of these, 571 (29·4%) had a B.1.1.7 infection and 1373 (70·6%) had an infection with other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Although the overall number of hospitalisations decreased during the study period, the proportion of individuals infected with B.1.1.7 increased from 3·5% to 92·1% per week. B.1.1.7 was associated with a crude RR of hospital admission of 0·79 (95% CI 0·72-0·87; p<0·0001) and an adjusted RR of 1·42 (95% CI 1·25-1·60; p<0·0001). The adjusted RR was increased in all strata of age and calendar period-the two covariates with the largest contribution to confounding of the crude RR. INTERPRETATION: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 was associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation compared with that of other lineages in an analysis adjusted for covariates. The overall effect on hospitalisations in Denmark was lessened due to a strict lockdown, but our findings could support hospital preparedness and modelling of the projected impact of the epidemic in countries with uncontrolled spread of B.1.1.7. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Whole Genome Sequencing/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
16.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481013

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) descriptions of infection and transmission have been increasing in companion animals in the past year. Although canine susceptibility is generally considered low, their role in the COVID-19 disease cycle remains unknown. In this study, we detected and sequenced a delta variant (AY.3) from a 12-year-old Collie living with owners that previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It is unclear if the dogs' symptoms were related to SARS-CoV-2 infection or underlying conditions. The whole genome sequence obtained from the dog sample had several unique consensus level changes not previously identified in a SARS-CoV-2 genome that may play a role in the rapid adaptation from humans to dogs. Within the spike coding region, 5/7 of the subconsensus variants identified in the dog sequence were also identified in the closest in-house human reference case. Taken together, the whole genome sequence, and phylogenetic and subconsensus variant analyses indicate the virus infecting the animal originated from a local outbreak cluster. The results of these analyses emphasize the importance of rapid detection and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in companion animals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Dog Diseases/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Dogs , Kansas , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Whole Genome Sequencing
17.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(11): e0104621, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480236

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomic surveillance has been vital in understanding the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the emergence of viral escape mutants, and variants of concern. However, low viral loads in clinical specimens affect variant calling for phylogenetic analyses and detection of low-frequency variants, important in uncovering infection transmission chains. We systematically evaluated three widely adopted SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequencing methods for their sensitivity, specificity, and ability to reliably detect low-frequency variants. Our analyses reveal that the ARTIC v3 protocol consistently displays high sensitivity for generating complete genomes at low viral loads compared with the probe-based Illumina Respiratory Viral Oligo panel and a pooled long-amplicon method. We show substantial variability in the number and location of low-frequency variants detected using the three methods, highlighting the importance of selecting appropriate methods to obtain high-quality sequence data from low-viral-load samples for public health and genomic surveillance purposes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Base Sequence , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny , Whole Genome Sequencing
18.
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
19.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471002

ABSTRACT

West Java Health Laboratory (WJHL) is one of the many institutions in Indonesia that have sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genome. Although having submitted a large number of sequences since September 2020, however, these submitted data lack advanced analyses. Therefore, in this study, we analyze the variant distribution, hotspot mutation, and its impact on protein structure and function of SARS-CoV-2 from the collected samples from WJHL. As many as one hundred sixty-three SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences submitted by West Java Health Laboratory (WJHL), with collection dates between September 2020 and June 2021, were retrieved from GISAID. Subsequently, the frequency and distribution of non-synonymous mutations across different cities and regencies from these samples were analyzed. The effect of the most prevalent mutations from dominant variants on the stability of their corresponding proteins was examined. The samples mostly consisted of people of working-age, and were distributed between female and male equally. All of the sample sequences showed varying levels of diversity, especially samples from West Bandung which carried the highest diversity. Dominant variants are the VOC B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, B.1.466.2 variant, and B.1.470 variant. The genomic regions with the highest number of mutations are the spike, NSP3, nucleocapsid, NSP12, and ORF3a protein. Mutation analysis showed that mutations in structural protein might increase the stability of the protein. Oppositely, mutations in non-structural protein might lead to a decrease in protein stability. However, further research to study the impact of mutations on the function of SARS-CoV-2 proteins are required.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Disease Hotspot , Female , Humans , Indonesia , Male , Molecular Docking Simulation , Mutation/genetics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Protein Stability , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
20.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463840

ABSTRACT

The emergence of variants of SARS-CoV-2 has created challenges for the testing infrastructure. Although large-scale genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has facilitated hospital and public health responses, access to sequencing facilities globally is variable and turnaround times can be significant, so there is a requirement for rapid and cost-effective alternatives. Applying a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) approach enables rapid (<4 h) identification of SARS-CoV-2 lineages from nucleic acid extracts, through the presence or absence of a panel of defined of genomic polymorphisms. For example, the B.1.1.7 lineage ("UK", "Alpha", or "Kent" variant) is characterised by 23 mutations compared to the reference strain, and the most biologically significant of these are found in the S gene. We have developed a SARS-CoV-2 typing assay focused on five positions in the S gene (HV69/70, N501, K417, E484 and P681). This configuration can identify a range of variants, including all the "Variants of Concern" currently designated by national and international public health bodies. The panel has been evaluated using a range of clinical isolates and standardised control materials at four UK hospitals and shows excellent concordance with the known lineage information derived from full sequence analysis. The assay has a turnaround time of about three hours for a set of up to 24 samples and has been utilised to identify emerging variants in a clinical setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods
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