Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Gamma lineage introduction and COVID-19 vaccination on the epidemiological landscape of a Brazilian city

Cecília Artico Banho, Lívia Sacchetto, Guilherme Rodrigues Fernandes Campos, Cíntia Bittar, Fábio Sossai Possebon, Leila Sabrina Ullmann, Beatriz de Carvalho Marques, Gislaine Ceslestino Dutra da Silva, Marília Mazzi Moraes, Maisa Carla Pereira Parra, Andreia Francesli Negri, Ana Carolina Boldrin, Michela Dias Barcelos, Thayza M I L Dos Santos, Bruno H G A Milhim, Leonardo Cecílio Rocha, Fernanda Simões Dourado, Andresa Lopes Dos Santos, Victoria Bernardi Ciconi, Caio PatutoAlice Freitas Versiani, Rafael Alves da Silva, Edoardo Estevam de Oliveira Lobl, Victor Miranda Hernandes, Nathalia Zini, Carolina Colombelli Pacca, Cássia Fernanda Estofolete, Helena Lage Ferreira, Paula Rahal, João Pessoa Araújo, Jamie A Cohen, Cliff C Kerr, Benjamin M Althouse, Nikos Vasilakis, Mauricio Lacerda Nogueira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The emergence of the Brazilian variant of concern, Gamma lineage (P.1), impacted the epidemiological profile of COVID-19 cases due to its higher transmissibility rate and immune evasion ability.

METHODS: We sequenced 305 SARS-CoV-2 whole-genomes and performed phylogenetic analyses to identify introduction events and the circulating lineages. Additionally, we use epidemiological data of COVID-19 cases, severe cases, and deaths to measure the impact of vaccination coverage and mortality risk.

RESULTS: Here we show that Gamma introduction in São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, was followed by the displacement of seven circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and a rapid increase in prevalence two months after its first detection in January 2021. Moreover, Gamma variant is associated with increased mortality risk and severity of COVID-19 cases in younger age groups, which corresponds to the unvaccinated population at the time.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the beneficial effects of vaccination indicated by a pronounced reduction of severe cases and deaths in immunized individuals, reinforcing the need for rapid and massive vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41
JournalCommunications medicine
StatePublished - Apr 13 2022


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