SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Genomic and Phylogenetic Analysis in Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Omer Majed, Sevan and Asad Mustafa, Suhad and Jamal Jalal, Paywast and Hassan Fatah, Mohammed and Miasko, Monika and Jawhar, Zanko and Yasin Karim, Abdulkarim (2023) SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Genomic and Phylogenetic Analysis in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Genes, 14 (1).

[img] Text (Research Article)
genes-14-00173.pdf - Published Version

Download (2MB)
Official URL:


Omicron variants have been classified as Variants of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) ever since they first emerged as a result of a significant mutation in this variant, which showed to have an impact on transmissibility and virulence of the virus, as evidenced by the ongoing modifications in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As a global pandemic, the Omicron variant also spread among the Kurdish population. This study aimed to analyze different strains from different cities of the Kurdistan region of Iraq to show the risk of infection and the impact of the various mutations on immune responses and vaccination. A total of 175 nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal specimens were collected at West Erbil Emergency Hospital and confirmed for SARS-CoV-2 infection by RT-PCR. The genomes of the samples were sequenced using the Illumina COVID-Seq Method. The genome analysis was established based on previously published data in the GISAID database and compared to previously detected mutations in the Omicron variants, and that they belong to the BA.1 lineage and include most variations determined in other studies related to transmissibility, high infectivity and immune escape. Most of the mutations were found in the RBD (receptor binding domain), the region related to the escape from humoral immunity. Remarkably, these point mutations (G339D, S371L, S373P, S375F, T547K, D614G, H655Y, N679K and N969K) were also determined in this study, which were unique, and their impact should be addressed more. Overall, the Omicron variants were more contagious than other variants. However, the mortality rate was low, and most infectious cases were asymptomatic. The next step should address the potential of Omicron variants to develop the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Illumina COVID-eq method; Omicron; Variants of Concern; receptor binding domain; GISAID
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 12:57
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2023 12:57

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item