Majority of Covid-19 variants in Africa came from abroad - study


A new scientific survey has found that the majority of Covid-19 variants in Africa were introduced from abroad. East Coast Radio coverage of our pan-African genomics surveillance paper in Science 2022

This is according to a study published on Thursday on Genomic Surveillance in Africa, in which scientists were able to describe the introduction and spread of Covid-19 during the pandemic.

The study was led by two labs set up in UKZN and Stellenbosch.

Its authors worked together to describe and analyse over 100,000 genomes and characterise Covid variants in real-time.

UKZN Professor Tulio de Oliveira says the initial waves of infections in Africa came mainly from Europe.

He says the genomic surveillance can be used to fight other epidemics currently on the continent.

"We are using that same technology to fight HIV, TB, Malaria, Ebola and all other epidemics in Africa."

The study has laid bare the harsh discrimination of travel bans imposed on the country.

De Olivera says this was amplified for Omicron BA.2.

"Europe and North America just showing as we were penalised for an unethical and unscientific travel ban would not stop the spread of Omicron around the world.

"Ironically most of the infections in Africa that were causing big waves of infections were from other regions of the world."

News date: 2022-09-16

Links:

https://www.ecr.co.za/news/news/majority-of-covid-19-variants-in-africa-came-from-abroad---study/

Publication cited

The evolving SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Africa: Insights from rapidly expanding genomic surveillance. Tegally H, San JE, Cotten M, Moir M, Tegomoh B, Mboowa G, Martin DP, Baxter C, Lambisia AW, Diallo A, Amoako DG, Diagne MM, Sisay A, Zekri AN, Gueye AS, Sangare AK, Ouedraogo AS, Sow A, Musa AO, Sesay AK, Abias AG, Elzagheid AI, Lagare A, Kemi AS, Abar AE, Johnson AA, Fowotade A, Oluwapelumi AO, Amuri AA, Juru A, Kandeil A, Mostafa A, Rebai A, Sayed A, Kazeem A, Balde A, Christoffels A, Trotter AJ, Campbell A, Keita AK, Kone A, Bouzid A, Souissi A, Agweyu A, Naguib A, Gutierrez AV, Nkeshimana A, Page AJ, Yadouleton A, Vinze A, Happi AN, Chouikha A, Iranzadeh A, Maharaj A, Batchi-Bouyou AL, Ismail A, Sylverken AA, Goba A, Femi A, Sijuwola AE, Marycelin B, Salako BL, Oderinde BS, Bolajoko B, Diarra B, Herring BL, Tsofa B, Lekana-Douki B, Mvula B, Njanpop-Lafourcade BM, Marondera BT, Khaireh BA, Kouriba B, Adu B, Pool B, McInnis B, Brook C, Williamson C, Nduwimana C, Anscombe C, Pratt CB, Scheepers C, Akoua-Koffi CG, Agoti CN, Mapanguy CM, Loucoubar C, Onwuamah CK, Ihekweazu C, Malaka CN, Peyrefitte C, Grace C, Omoruyi CE, Rafa├» CD, Morang'a CM, Erameh C, Lule DB, Bridges DJ, Mukadi-Bamuleka D, Park D, Rasmussen DA, Baker D, Nokes DJ, Ssemwanga D, Tshiabuila D, Amuzu DSY, Goedhals D, Grant DS, Omuoyo DO, Maruapula D, Wanjohi DW, Foster-Nyarko E, Lusamaki EK, Simulundu E, Ong'era EM, Ngabana EN, Abworo EO, Otieno E, Shumba E, Barasa E, Ahmed EB, Ahmed EA, Lokilo E, Mukantwari E, Philomena E, Belarbi E, Simon-Loriere E, Anoh EA, Manuel E, Leendertz F, Taweh FM, Wasfi F, Abdelmoula F, Takawira FT, Derrar F, Ajogbasile FV, Treurnicht F, Onikepe F, Ntoumi F, Muyembe FM, Ragomzingba FEZ, Dratibi FA, Iyanu FA, Mbunsu GK, Thilliez G, Kay GL, Akpede GO, van Zyl GU, Awandare GA, Kpeli GS, Schubert G, Maphalala GP, Ranaivoson HC, Omunakwe HE, Onywera H, Abe H, Karray H, Nansumba H, Triki H, Kadjo HAA, Elgahzaly H, Gumbo H, Mathieu H, Kavunga-Membo H, Smeti I, Olawoye IB, Adetifa IMO, Odia I, Ben Boubaker IB, Mohammad IA, Ssewanyana I, Wurie I, Konstantinus IS, Halatoko JWA, Ayei J, Sonoo J, Makangara JC, Tamfum JM, Heraud JM, Shaffer JG, Giandhari J, Musyoki J, Nkurunziza J, Uwanibe JN, Bhiman JN, Yasuda J, Morais J, Kiconco J, Sandi JD, Huddleston J, Odoom JK, Morobe JM, Gyapong JO, Kayiwa JT, Okolie JC, Xavier JS, Gyamfi J, Wamala JF, Bonney JHK, Nyandwi J, Everatt J, Nakaseegu J, Ngoi JM, Namulondo J, Oguzie JU, Andeko JC, Lutwama JJ, Mogga JJH, O'Grady J, Siddle KJ, Victoir K, Adeyemi KT, Tumedi KA, Carvalho KS, Mohammed KS, Dellagi K, Musonda KG, Duedu KO, Fki-Berrajah L, Singh L, Kepler LM, Biscornet L, de Oliveira Martins L, Chabuka L, Olubayo L, Ojok LD, Deng LL, Ochola-Oyier LI, Tyers L, Mine M, Ramuth M, Mastouri M, ElHefnawi M, Mbanne M, Matsheka MI, Kebabonye M, Diop M, Momoh M, Lima Mendon├ža MDL, Venter M, Paye MF, Faye M, Nyaga MM, Mareka M, Damaris MM, Mburu MW, Mpina MG, Owusu M, Wiley MR, Tatfeng MY, Ayekaba MO, Abouelhoda M, Beloufa MA, Seadawy MG, Khalifa MK, Matobo MM, Kane M, Salou M, Mbulawa MB, Mwenda M, Allam M, Phan MVT, Abid N, Rujeni N, Abuzaid N, Ismael N, Elguindy N, Top NM, Dia N, Mabunda N, Hsiao NY, Silochi NB, Francisco NM, Saasa N, Bbosa N, Murunga N, Gumede N, Wolter N, Sitharam N, Ndodo N, Ajayi NA, Tordo N, Mbhele N, Razanajatovo NH, Iguosadolo N, Mba N, Kingsley OC, Sylvanus O, Femi O, Adewumi OM, Testimony O, Ogunsanya OA, Fakayode O, Ogah OE, Oludayo OE, Faye O, Smith-Lawrence P, Ondoa P, Combe P, Nabisubi P, Semanda P, Oluniyi PE, Arnaldo P, Quashie PK, Okokhere PO, Bejon P, Dussart P, Bester PA, Mbala PK, Kaleebu P, Abechi P, El-Shesheny R, Joseph R, Aziz RK, Essomba RG, Ayivor-Djanie R, Njouom R, Phillips RO, Gorman R, Kingsley RA, Neto Rodrigues RMDESA, Audu RA, Carr RAA, Gargouri S, Masmoudi S, Bootsma S, Sankhe S, Mohamed SI, Femi S, Mhalla S, Hosch S, Kassim SK, Metha S, Trabelsi S, Agwa SH, Mwangi SW, Doumbia S, Makiala-Mandanda S, Aryeetey S, Ahmed SS, Ahmed SM, Elhamoumi S, Moyo S, Lutucuta S, Gaseitsiwe S, Jalloh S, Andriamandimby SF, Oguntope S, Grayo S, Lekana-Douki S, Prosolek S, Ouangraoua S, van Wyk S, Schaffner SF, Kanyerezi S, Ahuka-Mundeke S, Rudder S, Pillay S, Nabadda S, Behillil S, Budiaki SL, van der Werf S, Mashe T, Mohale T, Le-Viet T, Velavan TP, Schindler T, Maponga TG, Bedford T, Anyaneji UJ, Chinedu U, Ramphal U, George UE, Enouf V, Nene V, Gorova V, Roshdy WH, Karim WA, Ampofo WK, Preiser W, Choga WT, Ahmed YA, Ramphal Y, Bediako Y, Naidoo Y, Butera Y, de Laurent ZR; Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative (Africa PGI), Ouma AEO, von Gottberg A, Githinji G, Moeti M, Tomori O, Sabeti PC, Sall AA, Oyola SO, Tebeje YK, Tessema SK, de Oliveira T, Happi C, Lessells R, Nkengasong J, Wilkinson E, Science (2022), eabq5358. doi: 10.1126/science.abq5358:.


KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).


Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira