New COVID-19 research provides deep insights into the transmission and transformation properties of SARS-CoV-2.

Important characteristics SARS-Cavi-2 virus

Important characteristics of the virus have been revealed by the Austrian study: the analysis of the incidence of infection clusters and the flow of events in the ria stria laid the foundation for obtaining general information about the transmission properties between individuals and mutations of the virus in patients. Credit: Andreas Berghthaler’s Group / CMM

Learning from past SARS-COV-2 outbreaks for future epidemic control.

In COVID-19 The epidemic has infected 57 million people worldwide. In the search for vaccines and therapies, accurate understanding of the virus, its mutations and transmission methods are crucial. C.M.M. of the Austrian Academy of Physical Sciences for the renowned journal Science Translational Medicine. A recent study by research team led by Principal Investigator Andres Bergthaler at the Research Center for Molecular Medicine has made a significant contribution to this. The high quality of epidemiological information in Ria Streia, with sophisticated virus genome sequencing, supports unprecedented insights into transformation behavior and transmission. SARS-CoV-2 Virus.

Project “Projects” SARS-COVI-201 by CEMM in close collaboration with Vienna Medical University in late March in collaboration with Vienna Medical University. Mutable mutations in Austria were initiated. ”In collaboration with the Health Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) and in collaboration with numerous universities and hospitals across Austria, scientists are working to further change the virus through specific genome sequencing and Working on 2 viruses. Under the leadership of CMM Principal Investigators Andres Berghthaler and Christoph Bock, 50 the0 samples of important SARS-Cavi-2 infection clusters of ria stria, such as Ishgal and Vienna, tourist city, phylogenetically and disease. Were reconstructed and their role in the spread of transcontinental viruses was analyzed.The results also provide important information about the development of transmission and mutation in the SARS-Cavi-2 virus.

Transmission bottleneck

Analysis of valid chains based on epidemiological episodes in Rian Strian hypersensitivity cases revealed that relatively large amounts of 1000 infectious viral particles are transmitted. Credit: C.M.M.

The transformation analysis reveals the relationship between the clusters

Based on the epidemiological data, the scientists used mutation analysis to reconstruct 76 cases of the SARS-Cavi-2 cluster and to uncover the latent link between the two epidemiological clusters. “This example illustrates how contact tracing and virus mutation analysis simultaneously provide a strong pillar of modern epidemic control,” says project leader Andres Berghthaler. Franz Ler Llberger, head of the public health department at AGES and co-author of the study, agrees: “Modern techniques of virus genome sequencing support epidemiological contact and provide high-resolution epidemiological insights.”

Researchers monitor the development of new mutations

A special feature of the study is that a chain of eight consecutive transmissions was analyzed. “The transmission chain started with the return from Italy. Within 24 days, the SARS-Cavi-2 virus spreads to the Vienna region in large rooms through closed-door public and social events, ”says Alexandra Popa and Jacob-Wendellin Ginger, CMM study authors. Due to the specific breakdown of the transmission chain, scientists closely observed the development of a new variant of the SARS-Cavi-2. “Thanks to excellent epidemiology and our deep-seated virus sequencing data, we were able to follow how the SARS-Cavi-2 virus evolved in one person and then transmitted to another.” In addition, the scientists observed the mutated behavior of the virus during the disease in 31 patients. This may help to assess in the future whether the treatment influences the mutation characteristics of the virus.

Andres Bergthaler, Alexandra Popa and Jacob-Wendellin Ginger

First author Alexandra Popa and last author Andres Bergthaler with Jacob-Wendellin Ginger. Credit: Klaus Pitcher / CMM

An average of 1000 virus particles are spread during infection

The results of the current analysis also show that an average of 1000 infectious virus particles are transmitted from one infected person to another. These values Overall significantly higher than other viruses such as V or norovirus. Andres Berghthaler added: “However, from time to time, we also find infected people who have been exposed to apparently fewer viruses and are still infected. We suspect that parameters such as protective measures, transmission routes or the use of the immune system may play a crucial role here. “These results raise important new questions and hypotheses. Reducing the viral load of infected individuals through a combination of measures such as mouth-nose protection, physical distance and adequate indoor air exchange can both play an important role in preventing the spread of the virus and influencing the course of the disease.”

The current study, based on data collected during the early stages of the SARS-Cavi-2 epidemic in spring 2020, provides important insights into the underlying dynamics of SARS-Cavi-2 mutations in patients and during transmission events. These results support other ongoing research projects aimed at better understanding and controlling the epidemic.

Learn more about the project:

References: Alexandra Popa, Jacob-Wendellin Ginger, Michael D. Nicholson, Thomas Penz, Daniela Schmidt, Stephen W. “The genomic epidemiology of superspeeding events reveals the mutating dynamics and transmission properties of SARS-Cavi-2,” by Aberle, Benedict Eger, Alexander. Lercher, Lucas Andler, Henrik Colao, Mark Smith, Michael Schuster, Miguel L. Gray, Francisco Martinez-Jimenez, Oriol Pitch, Vegin Borena, Eric Pavelka, Zsophia Kezei, Martin Senekovits, Judier Eber. Fritz, Mario Caroli, Alexander Nder Zufali, Sabin Marishchnik, Martin Borkowek, Peter Huffnagel, Mfnfred Nairz, Gator Weiss, Michael T. Wolfinger, Dorothy von Laer, Giulio Superti-Furga, Nuria Lopez-Bigus, Elizabeth Puchlmer, Franzberka Franziska Mikor, Christoph Bock and Andres Bergthaler, 23 November 2020. Science Translation Medicine of translation.
DOI: 10.1126 / skittranslated.AB2555

Funding: The project is co-financed by a COVID-Rapid Response grant from the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) and contributions by CMM, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Medical University and its respective partners.