Yu, Wen-Bin; Tang, Guang-Da; Zhang, Li; Corlett, Richard T.
|Background. The outbreak of COVID-19 started in mid-December 2019 in Wuhan, Central China. Up to February 18, 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 70,000 people in China, and another 25 countries across five continents. In this study, we used 93 complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from the GISAID EpiFluTM database to decode the evolution and human-to-human transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 in the recent two months. Methods. Alignment of coding-regions was conducted haplotype analyses using DnaSP. Substitution sites were analyzed in codon. Evolutionary analysis of haplotypes used NETWORK. Population size changes were estimated using both DnaSP and Arlequin. Expansion date of population size was calculated based on the expansion parameter tau (τ) using the formula t=τ/2u. Findings. Eight coding-regions have 120 substitution sites, including 79 non-synonymous and 40 synonymous substitutions. Forty-two non-synonymous substitutions changed the biochemical property of amino acids. No evident combination was found. Fifty-eight haplotypes were classified as five groups, and 31 haplotypes were found in samples from both China and other countries, respectively. The rooted network suggested H13 and H35 to be ancestral haplotypes, and H1 (and its descendent haplotypes including all samples from the Hua Nan market) was derived H3 haplotype. Population size of SARS-CoV-2 were estimated to have a recent expansion on 6 January 2020, and an early expansion on 8 December 2019. Interpretation. Genomic variations of SARS-CoV-2 are still low in comparisons with published genomes of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Phyloepidemiologic analyses indicated the SARS-CoV-2 source at the Hua Nan market should be imported from other places. The crowded market boosted SARS-CoV-2 rapid circulations in the market and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019. Furthermore, phyloepidemiologic approaches have recovered specific direction of human-to-human transmissions, and the import sources of international infectious cases.|