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Infect Prev Pract . Genetic epidemiology using whole genome sequencing and haplotype networks revealed the linkage of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nosocomial outbreak

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  • Infect Prev Pract . Genetic epidemiology using whole genome sequencing and haplotype networks revealed the linkage of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nosocomial outbreak


    Infect Prev Pract


    . 2021 Nov 24;100190.
    doi: 10.1016/j.infpip.2021.100190. Online ahead of print.
    Genetic epidemiology using whole genome sequencing and haplotype networks revealed the linkage of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nosocomial outbreak


    Fumihiro Ishikawa 1 2 , Yuko Udaka 1 3 , Hideto Oyamada 1 3 , Keiko Ishino 1 4 , Issei Tokimatsu 5 , Hironori Sagara 6 , Yuji Kiuchi 1 3



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    Background: A characteristic feature of SARS-CoV-2 is its ability to transmit from pre- or asymptomatic patients, complicating the tracing of infection pathways and causing outbreaks. Despite several reports that whole genome sequencing (WGS) and haplotype networks are useful for epidemiologic analysis, little is known about their use in nosocomial infections.
    Aim: We aimed to demonstrate the advantages of genetic epidemiology in identifying the link in nosocomial infection by comparing single nucleotide variations (SNVs) of isolates from patients associated with an outbreak in Showa University Hospital.
    Methods: We used specimens from 32 patients in whom COVID-19 had been diagnosed using clinical reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests. RNA of SARS-CoV-2 from specimens was reverse-transcribed and analysed using WGS. SNVs were extracted and used for lineage determination, phylogenetic tree analysis, and median-joining analysis.
    Findings: The lineage of SARS-CoV-2 that was associated with outbreak in Showa University Hospital was B.1.1.214, which was consistent with that found in the Kanto metropolitan area during the same period. Consistent with canonical epidemiological observations, haplotype network analysis was successful for the classification of patients. Additionally, phylogenetic tree analysis revealed three independent introductions of the virus into the hospital during the outbreak. Further, median-joining analysis indicated that four patients were directly infected by any of the others in the same cluster.
    Conclusion: Genetic epidemiology with WGS and haplotype networks is useful for tracing transmission and optimizing prevention strategies in nosocomial outbreaks.

    Keywords: epidemiological analysis; haplotype networks; phylogenetic tree analysis; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; whole genome sequencing.

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