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Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.02.26.21252555

Introductions and evolutions of SARS-CoV-2 strains in Japan

02 Mar 2021-medRxiv (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press)-
Abstract: COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in Japan on January 15th, 2020, soon after the pandemic originated in Wuhan, China. Subsequently, Japan experienced three distinct waves of the outbreak in the span of a year and has been attributed to new exogenous strains and evolving existing strains. Japan engaged very early on in tracking different COVID-19 strains and have sequenced approximately 5% of all confirmed cases. While Japan has enforced stringent airport surveillance on cross-border travelers and returnees, some carriers appear to have advanced through the quarantine stations undetected. In this study 30493 genomes sampled in Japan were analyzed to understand the strains, heterogeneity and temporal evolution of different SARS-CoV-2 strains. We identified 12 discrete strains with a substantial number of cases with most strains possessing the spike (S) D614G and nucleocapsid (N) 203_204delinsKR mutations. 155 distinct strains have been introduced into Japan and 39 of them were introduced after strict quarantine policy was implemented. In particular, the B.1.1.7 strain, that emerged in the United Kingdom (UK) in September 2020, has been circulating in Japan since late 2020 after eluding cross-border quarantine stations. Similarly, the B.1.351 strain dubbed the South African variant, P.1 Brazilian strain and R.1 strain with the spike E484K mutation have been detected in Japan. At least 14 exogenous B.1.1.7 sub-strains have been independently introduced in Japan as of late March 2021, and these strains carry mutations that give selective advantage including N501Y, H69_V70del, and E484K that confer increased transmissibility, reduced efficacy to vaccines and possible increased virulence. Furthermore, various strains, which harbor multiple variants in the PCR primers and the probe developed by National Institute of Infectious Disease (NIID), are emerging. It is imperative that the quarantine policy be revised, cross-border surveillance reinforced, and new public health measures implemented to mitigate further transmission of this deadly disease and to identify strains that may engender resistance to vaccines.

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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.AJPATH.2021.07.002
Abstract: Certain genetic variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are of substantial concern because they may be more transmissible or detrimentally alter the pandemic course and disease features in individual patients. SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from 12,476 patients in the Houston Methodist health care system diagnosed from January 1 through May 31, 2021 are reported here. Prevalence of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant increased rapidly and caused 63% to 90% of new cases in the latter half of May. Eleven B.1.1.7 genomes had an E484K replacement in spike protein, a change also identified in other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Compared with non-B.1.1.7-infected patients, individuals with B.1.1.7 had a significantly lower cycle threshold (a proxy for higher virus load) and significantly higher hospitalization rate. Other variants [eg, B.1.429 and B.1.427 (Epsilon), P.1 (Gamma), P.2 (Zeta), and R.1] also increased rapidly, although the magnitude was less than that in B.1.1.7. Twenty-two patients infected with B.1.617.1 (Kappa) or B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants had a high rate of hospitalization. Breakthrough cases (n = 207) in fully vaccinated patients were caused by a heterogeneous array of virus genotypes, including many not currently designated variants of interest or concern. In the aggregate, this study delineates the trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in a major metropolitan area, documents B.1.1.7 as the major cause of new cases in Houston, TX, and heralds the arrival of B.1.617 variants in the metroplex.

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7 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.05.20.21257552
23 May 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: Genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are of substantial concern because they can detrimentally alter the trajectory of the ongoing pandemic, and disease course in individual patients. Here we report genome sequences from 11,568 COVID-19 patients in the Houston Methodist healthcare system dispersed throughout the metroplex that were diagnosed from January 1, 2021 through April 30, 2021. This sample represents 94% of Houston Methodist cases and 4.6% of all reported cases in the metropolitan area during this period. The SARS-CoV-2 variant designated UK B.1.1.7 increased very rapidly, and now causes 75%-90% of all new cases in the Houston area. Five of the 2,543 B.1.1.7 genomes had an E484K change in spike protein. Compared with non-B.1.1.7 patients, individuals infected with B.1.1.7 had a significantly lower cycle threshold value (considered to be a proxy for higher virus load) and higher rate of hospitalization. Other variants (e.g., B.1.429, B.1.427, P.1, P.2, and R.1) also increased rapidly in frequency, although the magnitude was less than for B.1.1.7. We also identified 42 patients with a recently described R.1 variant that has an E484K amino acid replacement, and seven patients with the B.1.617 "India" variants. In the aggregate, our study shows the occurrence of a diverse array of concerning SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in a major metropolitan area, documents B.1.1.7 as the major cause of new cases in Houston and heralds the arrival and spread of B.1.617 variants in the metroplex.

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3 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.MEEGID.2021.105088
Yosuke Hirotsu, Masao Omata1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Background The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) circulates in the world and acquires mutations during evolution. To identify the new emergent variants, the surveillance of the variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest (VOI) is ongoing. This study aimed to determine how the transition of viral lineage occurred by stationary genome analysis in Yamanashi, Japan. Methods We performed the whole genome sequencing using SARS-CoV-2 positive samples collected from February 2020 to the end of June 2021. Viral lineage was defined by the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (PANGO) lineages. Results We successfully obtained 325 viral genome sequences and the number of analyzed samples accounted for 15.4% of the total 2109 COVID-19 patients identified in our district. We identified 13 types of viral lineages including R.1, P.1, B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617.2 (Delta). These virus lineages had distinct periods of expansion and decline. After the emerging of the R.1 lineage harboring E484K variant (designated VOI in Japan), the prevalent B.1.1.214 lineage were no longer identified. The R.1 lineages were temporarily prevalent afterwards, but the influx of B.1.1.7 lineage (designated VOC) led to a decline in R.1. Currently, B.1.1.7 has become dominant after mid-April 2021. Conclusion We clearly elucidated the transition and replacement of viral lineage by the community-based analysis. The virus completely replaced by more infectious lineages, therefore, it will be necessary to continue to monitor the VOC and VOI.

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Topics: Lineage (genetic) (60%)

1 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.06.30.21259820
Yosuke Hirotsu, Masao Omata1Institutions (1)
06 Jul 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: Background The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) circulates in the world and acquires mutations during evolution. To identify the new emergent variants, the surveillance of the variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest (VOI) is ongoing. This study aimed to determine how the transition of viral lineage occurred by stationary genome analysis in Yamanashi, Japan. Methods We performed the whole genome sequencing using SARS-CoV-2 positive samples (n=325) collected from February 2020 to the end of June 2021. The number of analyzed samples accounted for 15.4% of the total 2,109 samples identified in our community. Viral lineage was defined by the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (PANGO) lineages. Results We identified 13 types of viral lineages including R.1, P.1, B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) These virus lineages had distinct periods of expansion and decline. After the emerging of the R.1 lineage harboring E484K variant (designated VOI in Japan), the prevalent B.1.1.214 lineage were no longer identified. The R.1 lineages were temporarily prevalent afterwards, but the influx of B.1.1.7 lineage (designated VOC) led to a decline in R.1. Currently, B.1.1.7 has become dominant after mid-April, 2021. Conclusion We clearly elucidated the transition and replacement of viral lineage by the community-based analysis. The virus completely replaced by more infectious lineages, therefore, it will be necessary to continue to monitor the VOC and VOI.

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Topics: Lineage (genetic) (60%)

Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.06.10.21258682
13 Jun 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: In March 2021, Japan is facing a 4th wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection. To prevent further spread of infection, sera cross-neutralizing activity of patients previously infected with conventional SARS-CoV-2 against novel variants is important but is not firmly established. We investigated the neutralizing potency of 81 COVID-19 patients’ sera from 4 waves of pandemic against SARS-CoV-2 variants using their authentic viruses. Most sera had neutralizing activity against all variants, showing similar activity against B.1.1.7 and D614G, but lower activity especially against B.1.351. In the 4th wave, sera-neutralizing activity against B.1.1.7 was significantly higher than that against any other variants, including D614G. The cross-neutralizing activity of convalescent sera was effective against all variants but was potentially weaker for B.1.351.

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References
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23 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0022-2836(70)90057-4
Abstract: A computer adaptable method for finding similarities in the amino acid sequences of two proteins has been developed. From these findings it is possible to determine whether significant homology exists between the proteins. This information is used to trace their possible evolutionary development. The maximum match is a number dependent upon the similarity of the sequences. One of its definitions is the largest number of amino acids of one protein that can be matched with those of a second protein allowing for all possible interruptions in either of the sequences. While the interruptions give rise to a very large number of comparisons, the method efficiently excludes from consideration those comparisons that cannot contribute to the maximum match. Comparisons are made from the smallest unit of significance, a pair of amino acids, one from each protein. All possible pairs are represented by a two-dimensional array, and all possible comparisons are represented by pathways through the array. For this maximum match only certain of the possible pathways must, be evaluated. A numerical value, one in this case, is assigned to every cell in the array representing like amino acids. The maximum match is the largest number that would result from summing the cell values of every

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Topics: BLOSUM (54%), Structural alignment (53%), Substitution matrix (53%) ... read more

11,308 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.13.30494
Yuelong Shu1, John W. McCauley2Institutions (2)
30 Mar 2017-Eurosurveillance
Abstract: Yuelong Shu1, John McCauley2 1. WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza, Chinese National Influenza Center, National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China 2. WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, Crick Worldwide Influenza Centre, the Francis Crick Institute, London, United Kingdom

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Topics: Public health informatics (64%), Data sharing (57%), Global health (56%) ... read more

1,373 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41564-020-0770-5
Andrew Rambaut1, Edward C. Holmes2, Áine O'Toole1, Verity Hill1  +4 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: The ongoing pandemic spread of a new human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is associated with severe pneumonia/disease (COVID-19), has resulted in the generation of tens of thousands of virus genome sequences. The rate of genome generation is unprecedented, yet there is currently no coherent nor accepted scheme for naming the expanding phylogenetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we present a rational and dynamic virus nomenclature that uses a phylogenetic framework to identify those lineages that contribute most to active spread. Our system is made tractable by constraining the number and depth of hierarchical lineage labels and by flagging and delabelling virus lineages that become unobserved and hence are probably inactive. By focusing on active virus lineages and those spreading to new locations, this nomenclature will assist in tracking and understanding the patterns and determinants of the global spread of SARS-CoV-2.

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1,074 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41586-021-03324-6
Zijun Wang1, Fabian Schmidt1, Yiska Weisblum1, Frauke Muecksch1  +32 moreInstitutions (4)
10 Feb 2021-Nature
Abstract: Here we report on the antibody and memory B cell responses of a cohort of 20 volunteers who received the Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine against SARS-CoV-21–4 Eight weeks after the second injection of vaccine, volunteers showed high levels of IgM and IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) and receptor-binding-domain (RBD) binding titre Moreover, the plasma neutralizing activity and relative numbers of RBD-specific memory B cells of vaccinated volunteers were equivalent to those of individuals who had recovered from natural infection5,6 However, activity against SARS-CoV-2 variants that encode E484K-, N501Y- or K417N/E484K/N501-mutant S was reduced by a small—but significant—margin The monoclonal antibodies elicited by the vaccines potently neutralize SARS-CoV-2, and target a number of different RBD epitopes in common with monoclonal antibodies isolated from infected donors5–8 However, neutralization by 14 of the 17 most-potent monoclonal antibodies that we tested was reduced or abolished by the K417N, E484K or N501Y mutation Notably, these mutations were selected when we cultured recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing SARS-CoV-2 S in the presence of the monoclonal antibodies elicited by the vaccines Together, these results suggest that the monoclonal antibodies in clinical use should be tested against newly arising variants, and that mRNA vaccines may need to be updated periodically to avoid a potential loss of clinical efficacy The Moderna (mRNA-1273) and Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccines elicit anti-RBD antibodies similar to those elicited through natural infection with SARS-CoV-2, but their potent neutralizing activity was reduced or abolished by new viral variants of concern

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Topics: Monoclonal antibody (58%), Antibody (53%), Epitope (52%) ... read more

634 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1073/PNAS.2009799117
Abstract: At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) was detected in Wuhan, China, that spread rapidly around the world, with severe consequences for human health and the global economy Here, we assessed the replicative ability and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Syrian hamsters SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated efficiently in the lungs of hamsters, causing severe pathological lung lesions following intranasal infection In addition, microcomputed tomographic imaging revealed severe lung injury that shared characteristics with SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung, including severe, bilateral, peripherally distributed, multilobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung consolidation SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters mounted neutralizing antibody responses and were protected against subsequent rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2 Moreover, passive transfer of convalescent serum to naive hamsters efficiently suppressed the replication of the virus in the lungs even when the serum was administrated 2 d postinfection of the serum-treated hamsters Collectively, these findings demonstrate that this Syrian hamster model will be useful for understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral drugs

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Topics: Lung injury (59%), Mesocricetus (57%), Coronavirus (53%) ... read more

435 Citations


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