Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 during the first year of the pandemic in the Bronx enabled clinical and epidemiological inference

medRxiv. 2022 Mar 17;2021.02.08.21250641. doi: 10.1101/2021.02.08.21250641. Preprint


The Bronx was an early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA. We conducted temporal genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 genomes across the Bronx from March-October 2020. Although the local structure of SARS-CoV-2 lineages mirrored those of New York City and New York State, temporal sampling revealed a dynamic and changing landscape of SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity. Mapping the trajectories of variants, we found that while some became 'endemic' to the Bronx, other, novel variants rose in prevalence in the late summer/early fall. Geographically resolved genomes enabled us to distinguish between cases of reinfection and persistent infection in two pediatric patients. We propose that limited, targeted, temporal genomic surveillance has clinical and epidemiological utility in managing the ongoing COVID pandemic.

One sentence summary: Temporally and geographically resolved sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 genotypes enabled surveillance of novel genotypes, identification of endemic viral variants, and clinical inferences, in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bronx.

Publication types

  • Preprint