ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1361.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Omicron Variant of Concern; Mutations; Lineages
Online: 19 May 2023 (03:00:56 CEST)
The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Omicron has been characterized by an explosive number of cases in almost every part of the world. The dissemination of different sub-lineages and recombinant genomes also led to several posterior waves in many countries. The circulation of this VOC and its major sub-lineages (BA.1 to BA.5) was monitored in community cases and in international travelers returning to Venezuela, by a rapid partial sequencing method. The specific sub-lineage assignment was performed by complete genome sequencing. Epidemic waves of SARS-CoV-2 cases were observed among international travelers during 2022, a situation not seen before December 2021. The succession of the Omicron VOC sub-lineages BA.1 to BA.5 occurred sequentially, except for BA.3, which was almost not detected. However, the sub-lineages generally circulated two months earlier in international travelers than in community cases. The diversity of Omicron sub-lineages found in international travelers was related to the one found in the USA, consistent with the most frequent destination of international travel from Venezuela this year. These differences are compatible with the delay observed in Latin American countries in the circulation of the different lineages of the Omicron VOC.