Research Paper

Cocirculation and replacement of SARS-CoV-2 variants in crowded settings and marginalized populations along the US-Mexico border

Antoine Chaillon, Ietza Bojorquez, Jaime Sepúlveda, Alicia Yolanda Harvey-Vera, MD, PhD, M Gudelia Rangel, MPH, PhD, Britt Skaathun, MPH, PhD, Sanjay R Mehta, MD, Caroline Ignacio, Magali Porrachia, MS, Davey M Smith, MD, MAS, and Steffanie A. Strathdee
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From ResearchGate: This research paper combines data from two studies conducted in Tijuana, Mexico to interrogate the circulating SARS-CoV-2 lin­eages (the viral strain causing the COVID-19 pandemic) and recombinant variants in marginalized populations on the California-Baja California border (migrants in shelters and persons who inject drugs (PWID)).

SARS-CoV-2 variants were identified on nasal swabs specimens and compared to publicly available genomes sampled in Mexico and California. All but 2 of the 10 lineages identified were predomi­nantly detected in North and Central America. Discrepan­cies between migrants and PWID can be explained by the temporal emergence and short time span of most lineages in the region.

The results illustrate the temporospatial structure for SARS-CoV-2 lineage dispersal and the potential co-circulation of multiple lineages in high-risk populations with close social contacts. These conditions create the potential for recombination occurring on the border.