Since the beginning of the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has shown a great genomic variability, resulting in the continuous emergence of new variants that has made their global monitoring and study a priority. This work aimed to study the genomic heterogeneity, the temporal origin, the rate of viral evolution and the population dynamics of the main circulating variants (20E.EU1, Alpha and Delta) in Italy, in August 2020–January 2022 period. For phylogenetic analyses, three datasets were set up, each for a different main lineage/variant circulating in Italy in that time including other Italian and International sequences of the same lineage/variant, available in GISAID sampled in the same times. The international dataset showed 26 (23% Italians, 23% singleton, 54% mixed), 40 (60% mixed, 37.5% Italians, 1 singleton) and 42 (85.7% mixed, 9.5% singleton, 4.8% Italians) clusters with at least one Italian sequence, in 20E.EU1 clade, Alpha and Delta variants, respectively. The estimation of tMRCAs in the Italian clusters (including >70% of genomes from Italy) showed that in all the lineage/variant, the earliest clusters were the largest in size and the most persistent in time and frequently mixed. Isolates from the major Italian Islands tended to segregate in clusters more frequently than those from other part of Italy. The study of infection dynamics showed a positive correlation between the trend in the effective number of infections estimated by BSP model and the Re curves estimated by birth-death skyline plot. The present work highlighted different evolutionary dynamics of studied lineages with high concordance between epidemiological parameters estimation and phylodynamic trends suggesting that the mechanism of replacement of the SARS-CoV-2 variants must be related to a complex of factors involving the transmissibility, as well as the implementation of control measures, and the level of cross-immunization within the population.

Genomic epidemiology of the main SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy between summer 2020 and winter 2021

Weisz A.;Franci G.;Rizzo F.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Since the beginning of the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has shown a great genomic variability, resulting in the continuous emergence of new variants that has made their global monitoring and study a priority. This work aimed to study the genomic heterogeneity, the temporal origin, the rate of viral evolution and the population dynamics of the main circulating variants (20E.EU1, Alpha and Delta) in Italy, in August 2020–January 2022 period. For phylogenetic analyses, three datasets were set up, each for a different main lineage/variant circulating in Italy in that time including other Italian and International sequences of the same lineage/variant, available in GISAID sampled in the same times. The international dataset showed 26 (23% Italians, 23% singleton, 54% mixed), 40 (60% mixed, 37.5% Italians, 1 singleton) and 42 (85.7% mixed, 9.5% singleton, 4.8% Italians) clusters with at least one Italian sequence, in 20E.EU1 clade, Alpha and Delta variants, respectively. The estimation of tMRCAs in the Italian clusters (including >70% of genomes from Italy) showed that in all the lineage/variant, the earliest clusters were the largest in size and the most persistent in time and frequently mixed. Isolates from the major Italian Islands tended to segregate in clusters more frequently than those from other part of Italy. The study of infection dynamics showed a positive correlation between the trend in the effective number of infections estimated by BSP model and the Re curves estimated by birth-death skyline plot. The present work highlighted different evolutionary dynamics of studied lineages with high concordance between epidemiological parameters estimation and phylodynamic trends suggesting that the mechanism of replacement of the SARS-CoV-2 variants must be related to a complex of factors involving the transmissibility, as well as the implementation of control measures, and the level of cross-immunization within the population.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4854831
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