[Clinical Infectious Diseases] Unique SARS-CoV-2 clusters causing a large COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong

Clinical Infectious Diseases, 5 August 2020

Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Wan-Mui Chan, Jonathan Daniel Ip, Allen Wing-Ho Chu, Anthony Raymond Tam, Raymond Liu, Alan Ka-Lun Wu, Kwok-Cheung Lung, Owen Tak-Yin Tsang, Daphne Pui-Ling Lau, Wing-Kin To, Mike Yat-Wah Kwan, Yat-Sun Yau, Anthony Chin-Ki Ng, Cyril Chik-Yan Yip, Kwok-Hung Chan, Herman Tse, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Kwok-Yung Yuen


  • Used whole genome sequencing to investigate the genomic epidemiology of this large summer outbreak
  • Identified two unique clusters causing this COVID-19 summer outbreak in Hong Kong
  • The majority of genomes from locally-acquired cases (91%) during this third wave belong to a cluster HK1, a unique cluster within the GR clade
  • Both clusters, especially cluster HK1, were phylogenetically more closely related to imported cases than the strains collected in Hong Kong during the previous waves before June 2020, suggesting that this summer COVID-19 outbreak is unlikely to be related to silent carriers from previous waves.

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