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Hyaekang Kim 1 Article
Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 lineages and mutations circulating in a university-affiliated hospital in South Korea analyzed using Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing
Hyaekang Kim, Sung Hee Chung, Hyun Soo Kim, Han-Sung Kim, Wonkeun Song, Ki Ho Hong, Jae-Seok Kim
Received June 21, 2022  Accepted August 23, 2022  Published online September 20, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0183
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Despite the introduction of vaccines, treatments, and massive diagnostic testing, the evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has continued to overcome barriers that had slowed its previous spread. As the virus evolves towards increasing fitness, it is critical to continue monitoring the occurrence of new mutations that could evade human efforts to control them.
Methods
We performed whole-genome sequencing using Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing on 58 SARS-CoV-2 isolates collected during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic at a tertiary hospital in South Korea and tracked the emergence of mutations responsible for massive spikes in South Korea.
Results
The differences among lineages were more pronounced in the spike gene, especially in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), than in other genes. Those RBD mutations could compromise neutralization by antibodies elicited by vaccination or previous infections. We also reported multiple incidences of Omicron variants carrying mutations that could impair the diagnostic sensitivity of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction-based testing.
Conclusion
These results provide an understanding of the temporal changes of variants and mutations that have been circulating in South Korea and their potential impacts on antigenicity, therapeutics, and diagnostic escape of the virus. We also showed that the utilization of the nanopore sequencing platform and the ARTIC workflow can provide convenient and accurate SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance even at a single hospital.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives