Overview of the SARS-CoV-2 genotypes circulating in Latin America during 2021

Latin America is one of the regions in which the COVID-19 pandemic has a stronger impact, with more than 72 million reported infections and 1.6 million deaths until June 2022. Since this region is ecologically diverse and is affected by enormous social inequalities, efforts to identify genomic patterns of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 genotypes are necessary for the suitable management of the pandemic. To contribute to the genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 in Latin America, we extended the number of SARS-CoV-2 genomes available from the region by sequencing and analyzing the viral genome from COVID-19 patients from seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, and Peru). Subsequently, we analyzed the genomes circulating mainly during 2021 including records from GISAID database from Latin America. A total of 1,534 genome sequences were generated from seven countries, demonstrating the laboratory and bioinformatics capabilities for genomic surveillance of pathogens that have been developed locally. For Latin America, patterns regarding several variants associated with multiple re-introductions, a relatively low percentage of sequenced samples, as well as an increment in the mutation frequency since the beginning of the pandemic, are in line with worldwide data. Besides, some variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest (VOI) such as Gamma, Mu and Lambda, and at least 83 other lineages have predominated locally with a country-specific enrichments. This work has contributed to the understanding of the dynamics of the pandemic in Latin America as part of the local and international efforts to achieve timely genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2.

Citation: Molina-Mora, J. A.; Reales-González, J.; Camacho, E.; Duarte-Martínez, F.; Tsukayama, P.; Soto-Garita, C.; Brenes, H.; Cordero-Laurent, E.; Santos, A. R. D.; Salgado, C. G.; Silva, C. S.; De Souza, J. S.; Nunes, G.; Negri, T. C.; Vidal, A.; Oliveira, R.; Oliveira, G.; Muñoz-Medina, J. E.; Salas-Lais, A. G.; Mireles-Rivera, G.; Sosa, E.; Turjanski, A.; Monzani, M. C.; Carobene, M. G.; Lenicov, F. R.; Schottlender, G.; Do Porto, D. A.; Kreuze, J. F.; Sacristan, L.; Guevara-Suarez, M.; Cristancho, M.; Campos-Sanchez, R.; Herrera-Estrella, A. 2023. Overview of the SARS-CoV-2 genotypes circulating in Latin America during 2021. Frontiers in Public Health. ISSN 2296-2565. 11 p.