Genomic and healthcare dynamics of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission

Jamie M Ellingford, Ryan George, John H Mcdermott, Shazaad Ahmad, Jonathan J Edgerley, David Gokhale, William G Newman, Stephen Ball, Nicholas Machin, Graeme Cm Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the effectiveness of infection control methods in reducing and preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in healthcare settings is of high importance. We sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes for patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) across multiple geographically distinct UK hospitals, obtaining 173 high-quality SARS-CoV-2 genomes. We integrated patient movement and staff location data into the analysis of viral genome data to understand spatial and temporal dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We identified eight patient contact clusters (PCC) with significantly increased similarity in genomic variants compared to non-clustered samples. Incorporation of HCW location further increased the number of individuals within PCCs and identified additional links in SARS-CoV-2 transmission pathways. Patients within PCCs carried viruses more genetically identical to HCWs in the same ward location. SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing integrated with patient and HCW movement data increases identification of outbreak clusters. This dynamic approach can support infection control management strategies within the healthcare setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65453
Early online date17 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021


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