Genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Ghana from 2020-2021More about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listCollins M Morang'a Joyce M Ngoi Jones Gyamfi Dominic SY Amuzu Benjamin D Nuertey Philip M Soglo Vincent Appiah Ivy A Asante Paul Owusu-Oduro Samuel Armoo Dennis Adu-Gyasi Nicholas Amoako Joseph Oliver-Commey Michael Owusu Augustina Sylverken Edward D Fenteng Violette V M'cormack Frederick Tei-Maya Evelyn B Quansah Reuben Ayivor-Djanie Enock K Amoako Isaac T Ogbe Bright K Yemi Israel Osei-Wusu Deborah NA Mettle Samirah Saiid Kesego Tapela Francis Dzabeng Vanessa Magnussen Jerry Quaye Precious C Opurum Rosina A Carr Patrick T Ababio Abdul-Karim Abass Samuel K Akoriyea Emmanuella Amoako Frederick Kumi-Ansah Oliver D Boakye Dam K Mibut Theophilus Odoom Lawrence Ofori-Boadu Emmanuel Allegye-Cudjoe Sylvester Dassah Victor Asoala Kwaku P Asante Richard O Phillips Mike Y Osei-Atweneboana John O Gyapong Patrick Kuma-Aboagye William K Ampofo Kwabena O Duedu Nicaise T Ndam Yaw Bediako Peter K Quashie Lucas N Amenga-Etego Gordon A Awandare
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineage, but the second wave was overwhelmingly driven by the Alpha variant. Subsequently, an unheralded variant under monitoring, B.1.1.318, dominated transmission from April to June 2021 before being displaced by Delta variants, which were introduced into community transmission in May 2021. Mutational analysis indicated that variants that took hold in Ghana harboured transmission enhancing and immune escape spike substitutions. The observed rapid viral evolution demonstrates the potential for emergence of novel variants with greater mutational fitness as observed in other parts of the world.