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Genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Ghana from 2020-2021.

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2022, 10:43 authored by Collins M Morang'a, Joyce M Ngoi, Jones Gyamfi, Dominic SY Amuzu, Benjamin D Nuertey, Philip M Soglo, Vincent Appiah, Ivy A Asante, Paul Owusu-Oduro, Samuel Armoo, Dennis Adu-Gyasi, Nicholas Amoako, Joseph Oliver-Commey, Michael Owusu, Augustina Sylverken, Edward D Fenteng, Violette V M'cormack, Frederick Tei-Maya, Evelyn B Quansah, Reuben Ayivor-Djanie, Enock K Amoako, Isaac T Ogbe, Bright K Yemi, Israel Osei-Wusu, Deborah NA Mettle, Samirah Saiid, Kesego Tapela, Francis Dzabeng, Vanessa Magnussen, Jerry Quaye, Precious C Opurum, Rosina A Carr, Patrick T Ababio, Abdul-Karim Abass, Samuel K Akoriyea, Emmanuella Amoako, Frederick Kumi-Ansah, Oliver D Boakye, Dam K Mibut, Theophilus Odoom, Lawrence Ofori-Boadu, Emmanuel Allegye-Cudjoe, Sylvester Dassah, Victor Asoala, Kwaku P Asante, Richard O Phillips, Mike Y Osei-Atweneboana, John O Gyapong, Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, William K Ampofo, Kwabena O Duedu, Nicaise T Ndam, Yaw Bediako, Peter K Quashie, Lucas N Amenga-Etego, Gordon A Awandare
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineage, but the second wave was overwhelmingly driven by the Alpha variant. Subsequently, an unheralded variant under monitoring, B.1.1.318, dominated transmission from April to June 2021 before being displaced by Delta variants, which were introduced into community transmission in May 2021. Mutational analysis indicated that variants that took hold in Ghana harboured transmission enhancing and immune escape spike substitutions. The observed rapid viral evolution demonstrates the potential for emergence of novel variants with greater mutational fitness as observed in other parts of the world.

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Medical Research Council (Grant ID: MR/P028071/1, Grant title: GCRF-Crick African Network)

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