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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21265116


The COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil experienced two major country-wide lineage replacements, the first driven by the lineage P.2, formerly classified as variant of interest (VOI) Zeta in late 2020 and the second by the variant of concern (VOC) Gamma in early 2021. To better understand how these SARS-CoV-2 lineage turnovers occurred in Brazil, we analyzed 11,724 high-quality SARS-CoV-2 whole genomes of samples collected in different country regions between September 2020 and April 2021. Our findings indicate that the spatial dispersion of both variants in Brazil was driven by short and long-distance viral transmission. The lineage P.2 harboring Spike mutation E484K probably emerged around late July 2020 in the Rio de Janeiro (RJ) state, which contributed with most ([~]50%) inter-state viral disseminations, and only became locally established in most Brazilian states by October 2020. The VOC Gamma probably arose in November 2020 in the Amazonas (AM) state, which was responsible for 60-70% of the inter-state viral dissemination, and the earliest timing of community transmission of this VOC in many Brazilian states was already traced to December 2020. We estimate that variant Gamma was 1.56-3.06 more transmissible than variant P.2 co-circulating in RJ and that the median effective reproductive number (Re) of Gamma in RJ and SP states (Re = 1.59-1.91) was lower than in AM (Re = 3.55). In summary, although the epicenter of the lineage P.2 dissemination in Brazil was the heavily interconnected Southeastern region, it displayed a slower rate of spatial spread than the VOC Gamma originated in the more isolated Northern Brazilian region. Our findings also support that the VOC Gamma was more transmissible than lineage P.2, although the viral Re of the VOC varied according to the geographic context.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20163998


BackgroundSARS-CoV-2 RNA detection with real time PCR is currently the central diagnostic tool to determine ongoing active infection. Nasopharyngeal and oral swabs are the main collection tool of biological material used as the source of viral RNA outside a hospital setting. However, limitation in swabs availability, trained health professional with proper PPE and potential risk of aerosols may hinder COVID diagnosis. Self-collection with swabs, saliva and throat wash to obtain oropharyngeal wash has been suggested as having comparable performance of regular swab. We performed throat wash (TW) based surveillance with laboratory heath workers and other employees (LHW) at a laboratory research institute. MethodsConsecutive volunteer testing of LWH and external household and close contacts were included. TW self-collection was performed in 5 mL of sterile saline that was returned to original vial after approximate 5 secs of gargle. RNA extraction and rtPCR were performed as part of routine COVID protocols using Allplex (Seegene, Korea). ResultsFour hundred and twenty two volunteers, 387 (93%) LHW and 43 (7%) contacts participated in the survey. One or more positive COVID rtPCR was documented in 63 (14.9% CI95 12%-19%) individuals. No correlation was observed between with direct activities with COVID samples to positivity, with infection observed in comparable rates among different laboratory areas, administrative or supportive activities. Among 63 with detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA, 59 with clinical information, 58% reported symptoms at a median of 4 days prior to collection, most with mild disease. Over a third (38%) of asymptomatic cases developed symptoms 1-3 days after collection. Although overall CT values of TW were higher than that of contemporary swab tests from hospitalized cases, TW from symptomatic cases had comparable CTs. ConclusionsThe study suggests that TW may be a valid alternative to the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The proportion of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases is elevated and reinforces the need of universal precautions and frequent surveys to limit the spread of the disease.

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