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    Wed Nov 23 2022

    SARS-CoV-2 chronological genomic evolution and epidemiology in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as affected by vaccination, conflict and socioeconomical disparities: a population-based cohort study


    Background Countries in the Middle East and North Africa or MENA region are conducting genomic surveillance as a means of contributing to the global effort to control the pandemic. This study aims to describe the chronological genomic evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and its impact on public health in the MENA region. Methods Researchers analyzed all available SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences, metadata, and rates of COVID-19 infection from the MENA region retrieved from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data database from January 2020 to August 2021. They then conducted inferential and ‎descriptive statistics to describe the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2. Key findings Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in the MENA region indicated that the variants in January 2020 predominately belonged to the G, GR, GH or O clades and that the most common variant of concern was Alpha. By August 2021, however, the GK clade dominated, then G and GR clades. Conclusion Researchers concluded that they were able to provide an essential description of the virus evolution and its impact on public health safety in the MENA region. The MENA region includes countries with low vaccination coverage and little genomic surveillance, which may exacerbate the existing health crisis.


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