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Scientist @fredhutch, studying viruses, evolution and immunity. Collection of #COVID19 threads here: https://bedford.io/misc/twitter/

Jun 2, 2020 8:29 PM
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Excellent reporting by @AP outlining timeframe of release of #SARSCoV2 genetic data in early Jan as the #COVID19 outbreak unfolded in Wuhan. 1/6 https://apnews.com/3c061794970661042b18d5aeaaed9fae

I want to focus on one detail here. Professor Yong-Zhen Zhang at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Fudan University first posted the genome sequence to Genbank on Jan 5 “where it sat awaiting review”. 2/6

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To get ahead of this delay, the sequence was posted publicly to http://virological.org on Jan 10. 3/6

Eddie Holmes (@edwardcholmes):
All, an initial genome sequence of the coronavirus associated with the Wuhan outbreak is now available at https://t.co/EeqQXCs3n3 here: https://t.co/jdCM9USkSK

This public posting resulted in immediate release of 5 additional genome sequences generated by China CDC, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Wuhan Institute of Virology. 4/6

In addition to serving as the basis for developing PCR primers for diagnostics, genomic data provided an early warning of the extent of sustained human-to-human transmission. 5/6

Nextstrain (@nextstrain):
Executive summary:

  • 24 genomes, 0-3 mutations
  • single introduction or small number of animal to human transmissions of very similar viruses
  • Introduction most likely Nov / early Dec 2019
  • There has been ongoing human-to-human spread since this point
  • R0 1.5 - 3.5

Prof Zhang and colleagues did the heroic thing and immediately posted their genome sequence to a public repository on Jan 5. The world cannot thank them enough. It’s a small tragedy that it sat in review at Genbank until Jan 12 and had to be posted separately to Virological. 6/6