ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0310.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Variola major; phylogeographical analysis; long-term calibrations; short- term calibrations
Online: 14 December 2020 (09:21:34 CET)
In order to reconstruct the origin and pathways of variola virus (VARV) dispersion, we analyzed 47 VARV isolates available in public databases and their SNPs. The mean substitution rate of the whole genomes was 9.41x10-6 (95%HPD:8.5-11.3x10-6) substitutions/site/year. The time of the tree root was estimated to be a mean 68 years (95%HPD:60.5–75.9). The phylogeographical analysis showed that the Far East and India were the most probable locations of the tree root and of the inner nodes, respectively, whereas for the outer nodes it corresponded to the sampling locations. The Bayesian Skyline plot showed that the effective number of infections started to grow exponentially in 1915-1920, peaked in the 1940s, and then decreased to zero. Our results suggests that the VARV major strains circulating between 1940s-1970s probably shared a common ancestor originated in the Far East; subsequently moved to India, which became the center of its dispersion to eastern and southern Africa, and then to central Africa and the Middle East, probably following the movements of people between south-eastern Asia and the other places with a common colonial history. These findings may help to explain the controversial reconstructions of the history of VARV obtained using long- and short- term calibrations.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: acute coronary syndromes; myocardial infarction; STEMI; Covid-19, infectious disease; respiratory infections; pathophysiology; percutaneous coronary intervention; thrombolysis; drug treatment
Online: 7 May 2020 (12:49:39 CEST)
Since association between myocardial infarction (MI) and respiratory infections has been described for influenza-viruses and other respiratory viral agents, understanding possible physiopathological links between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and acute coronary syndromes (ACS) is of the greatest importance. First data suggest an underestimation of ACS cases all over the world, but acute MI still represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and should not be overshadowed during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. No common consensus regarding the most adequate healthcare management policy for ACS is currently available. Indeed, important differences have been reported between the measures employed to treat ACS in China during the first disease outbreak and what currently represents clinical practice across Europe and the USA. This review aims to discuss: pathophysiological links between MI, respiratory infections, and Covid-19; epidemiological data related to ACS at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic; what emerged so far from several catheterization labs and coronary care units all over the world, in order to shed some light on the current strategies for optimal management of ACS patients with confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0198.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: epidemiological history of HCV-2; HCV-2 subtypes; evolutionary demography of HCV-2; phylodynamics of HCV-2 in Italy and Albania; HCV-2 Re estimation
Online: 11 January 2021 (13:10:30 CET)
Newly characterising 245 Italian and Albanian HCV-2 NS5B sequences collected between 2001 and 2016 was used to reconstruct the origin and dispersion pathways of HCV-2c. The tree of a subset of these sequences aligned with 247 publicly available sequences was reconstructed in spatio-temporal scale using the Bayesian approach, and the effective replication number (Re) was estimated using the birth-death model. Our findings show that HCV-2c was the most prevalent subtype in Italy and Albania, and that GT2 originated in Guinea Bissau in the XVI century and spread to Europe in the XX century. The HCV-2c subtype had two internal nodes respectively dating back to the 1930s and 1950s having as most probable locations Ghana and Italy, respectively. Phylodynamic analysis revealed an exponential increase in the effective number of infections and Re in both Italy between the 1950s and 1980s, and Albania between the 1990s and the early 2000s. It seems very likely that HCV-2c reached Italy from Africa at the time of the second Italian colonisation (1936-1941), but did not reach Albania until the period of dramatic migration to Italy in the 1990s.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0144.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: phylodynamic analyses; SARS-CoV2 circulation in Italy; molecular tracing; Whole Genome Sequencing
Online: 8 July 2020 (11:00:19 CEST)
The aim of this study is the characterization and genomic tracing by phylogenetic analyses of 59 new SARS-CoV-2 Italian isolates obtained from patients attending clinical centres in North and Central Italy until the end of April 2020. All but one of the newly characterized genomes belonged to the lineage B.1, the most frequently identified in European countries, including Italy. Only a single sequence was found to belong to lineage B. A mean of 6 nucleotide substitutions per viral genome was observed, without significant differences between synonymous and non-synonymous mutations, indicating genetic drift as a major source for virus evolution. tMRCA estimation confirmed the probable origin of the epidemic between the end of January and the beginning of February with a rapid increase in the number of infections between the end of February and mid-March. Since early February, an effective reproduction number (Re) greater than 1 was estimated, which then increased reaching the peak of 2.3 in early March, confirming the circulation of the virus before the first COVID-19 cases were documented. Continuous use of state-of-the-art methods for molecular surveillance is warranted to trace virus circulation and evolution and inform effective prevention and containment of future SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0526.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 virus; complete genome sequencing; COVID-19 RT-PCR testing; Spike protein; vi-ral variants
Online: 21 May 2021 (15:12:17 CEST)
A growing number of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is being identified worldwide, potentially impacting the effectiveness of current vaccines. We report the data obtained in several Italian regions involved in the SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring from the beginning of the epidemic and spanning the period from October 2020 to March 2021.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0654.v1
Online: 29 July 2021 (12:23:23 CEST)
The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.