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Genomic characterization and phylogenetic analysis of the first SARS-CoV-2 variants introduced in Lebanon

Abstract : Background In December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic initially erupted from a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin in the city of Wuhan, China. Presently, it has almost reached 94 million cases worldwide. Lebanon on the brink of economic collapse and its healthcare system thrown into turmoil, has previously managed to cope with the initial SARS-CoV-2 wave. In this study, we sequenced 11 viral genomes from positive cases isolated between 2 February 2020 and 15 March 2020. Methods Sequencing data was quality controlled, consensus sequences generated, and a maximum-likelihood tree was generated with IQTREE v2. Genetic lineages were assigned with Pangolin v1.1.14 and single nucleotide variants (SNVs) were called from read files and manually curated from consensus sequence alignment through JalView v2.11 and the genomic mutational interference with molecular diagnostic tools was assessed with the CoV-GLUE pipeline. Phylogenetic analysis of whole genome sequences confirmed a multiple introduction scenario due to international travel. Results Three major lineages were identified to be circulating in Lebanon in the studied period. The B.1 (20A clade) was the most prominent, followed by the B.4 lineage (19A clade) and the B.1.1 lineage (20B clade). SNV analysis showed 15 novel mutations from which only one was observed in the spike region.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 12, 2022 - 11:06:48 AM
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Rita Feghali, Georgi Merhi, Aurelia Kwasiborski, Véronique Hourdel, Nada Ghosn, et al.. Genomic characterization and phylogenetic analysis of the first SARS-CoV-2 variants introduced in Lebanon. PeerJ, PeerJ, 2021, 9, pp.e11015. ⟨10.7717/peerj.11015⟩. ⟨pasteur-03720775⟩

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