Emerging phylogenetic structure of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Virus Evolution
Nicholas M Fountain-JonesM. Charleston

Abstract

Since spilling over into humans, SARS-CoV-2 has rapidly spread across the globe, accumulating significant genetic diversity. The structure of this genetic diversity and whether it reveals epidemiological insights are fundamental questions for understanding the evolutionary trajectory of this virus. Here, we use a recently developed phylodynamic approach to uncover phylogenetic structures underlying the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We find support for three SARS-CoV-2 lineages co-circulating, each with significantly different demographic dynamics concordant with known epidemiological factors. For example, Lineage C emerged in Europe with a high growth rate in late February, just prior to the exponential increase in cases in several European countries. Non-synonymous mutations that characterize Lineage C occur in functionally important gene regions responsible for viral replication and cell entry. Even though Lineages A and B had distinct demographic patterns, they were much more difficult to distinguish. Continuous application of phylogenetic approaches to track the evolutionary epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 lineages will be increasingly important to validate the efficacy of control efforts and monitor significant evolutionary events in th...Continue Reading

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Citations

Nov 27, 2020·Nature Communications·Lucy van DorpFrançois Balloux
Mar 4, 2021·International Journal of Molecular Sciences·Marta TrevisanLuisa Barzon
Jun 11, 2021·Royal Society Open Science·Wendy C TurnerKyrre Kausrud

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