SARS-CoV-2 B.1.214.1, B.1.214.2 and B.1.620 are predominant lineages between December 2020 and July 2021 in the Republic of Congo

Claujens Chastel Mfoutou Mapanguy, Armel Landry Batchi-Bouyou, Jean Claude Djontu, Srinivas Reddy Pallerla, Chamy Helga Ngoma, Le Thi Kieu Linh, Sivaramakrishna Rachakonda, Nicolas Casadei, Angel Angelov, Michael Sonnabend, Jeannhey Christevy Vouvoungui, Raoul Ampa, Etienne Nguimbi, Silke Peter, Peter G. Kremsner, Chiara Montaldo, Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan, Francine Ntoumi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background: : SARS-CoV-2 variants have been emerging and are shown to increase transmissibility, pathogenicity, and decreased vaccine efficacies. The objective of this study was to determine the distribution, prevalence, and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo (ROC). Methods: : Between December 2020 and July 2021, a total of n=600 oropharyngeal specimens collected in the community were tested for COVID-19. Of the samples tested, 317 (53%) were SARS-CoV-2 positive. All samples that had a threshold of Ct <30 (n=182) were sequenced by next-generation sequencing (NGS), and all complete sequenced genomes were submitted to GISAID; lineages were assigned using pangolin nomenclature and a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed. In addition, the global prevalence of the predominant lineages was analysed using data from GISAID and Outbreak databases. Results: : A total of 15 lineages circulated with B.1.214.2 (26%), B.1.214.1 (19%) and B.1.620 (18%) being predominant. The variants of concern (VOC) alpha (B.1.1.7) (6%) and for the first time in June delta (B.1.617.2) (4%) were observed. In addition, the B.1.214.1 lineage first reported from ROC was observed to be spreading locally and regionally. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the B.1.620 variant (VUM) under observation may have originated from either Cameroon or the Central African Republic. SARS-CoV-2 lineages were heterogeneous, with the densely populated districts of Poto-Poto and Moungali likely the epicenter of spread. Conclusion: : Longitudinal monitoring and molecular surveillance across time and space are critical to understanding viral phylodynamics, which could have important implications for transmissibility and impact infection prevention and control measures.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)106-113
    Number of pages8
    JournalIJID Regions
    Volume3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 2022

    Keywords

    • B.1.1.7 (alpha)
    • B.1.617.2 (delta)
    • B.1.620
    • COVID-19
    • genomic surveillance
    • Republic of Congo
    • SARS-CoV-2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Infectious Diseases
    • Epidemiology
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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