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Journal Articles Infection, Genetics and Evolution Year : 2022

Genomic evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in Reunion Island

Abstract

Island communities are interesting study sites for microbial evolution during epidemics, as their insular nature reduces the complexity of the population's connectivity. This was particularly true on Reunion Island during the first half of 2021, when international travel was restricted in order to mitigate the risk for SARS-CoV-2 introductions. Concurrently, the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant became dominant and started to circulate at high levels for several months before being completely replaced by the Delta variant as of October 2021. Here, we explore some of the particularities of SARS-CoV-2 genomic evolution within the insular context of Reunion Island. We show that island isolation allowed the amplification and expansion of unique genetic lineages that remained uncommon across the globe. Islands are therefore potential hotspots for the emergence of new genetic variants, meaning that they will play a key role in the continued evolution and propagation of COVID-19 as the pandemic persists.

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Virology
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hal-04110066 , version 1 (30-05-2023)

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David A Wilkinson, Alizé Mercier, Magali Turpin, Marie-Alice Simbi, Jonathan Turpin, et al.. Genomic evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in Reunion Island. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 2022, 106, ⟨10.1016/j.meegid.2022.105381⟩. ⟨hal-04110066⟩
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