Genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Circulating during Second and Third Wave of COVID-19 in Nepal
Background: In Nepal, since the first detection of COVID-19 case in January 2020, the total cases have rose to almost a million with more than 12,000 deaths. Till now, WHO has classified 5 variants of SARS-Cov2 as variant of concerns at different time points causing many waves in different countries and regions at different time points. Nepal had also faced three distinct waves of COVID-19 caused by different variant of COVID 19. The objective of this study was to perform whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in different waves of COVID-19 in Nepal and investigate its variant or lineage.
Methods: In this study, samples from 49 SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects from May 2021 to January 2022, were investigated. The methodology followed RNA extraction, real-time PCR for confirmation and whole-genome sequencing. The consensus genomes were interpreted with appropriate bioinformatics tools and databases.
Results: Sequence analysis of 49 genomes revealed to be of Delta (n=27) and Omicron Variant (n=22). The mutations in the consensus genomes contained the defining mutations of the respective lineages/variants. There were 20 genomes of Omicron sub-lineage BA.2, 1 of BA.1.1 and 1 of B.1.1.529.
Conclusions: This study provides concise genomic evidence of presence of Delta and Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nepal. Delta and Omicron variants were driving the second wave and the third wave of COVID-19 respectively in Nepal. Therefore, the genomic surveillance must be increased to clearly map out the pandemic and strategize vaccination approaches in the country.
Keywords: COVID-19; delta, omicron; Nepal;SARS-CoV-2; whole-genome sequencing
Copyright (c) 2023 Dipesh Tamrakar, Nishan Katuwal, Navin Adhikari, Surendra Kumar Madhup, Meghnath Dhimal, Rajeev Shrestha
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Journal of Nepal Health Research Council JNHRC allows to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose. Copyright is retained by author. The JNHRC work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).