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  1. Abstract Aligning sequencing reads onto a reference is an essential step of the majority of genomic analysis pipelines. Computational algorithms for read alignment have evolved in accordance with technological advances, leading to today’s diverse array of alignment methods. We provide a systematic survey of algorithmic foundations and methodologies across 107 alignment methods, for both short and long reads. We provide a rigorous experimental evaluation of 11 read aligners to demonstrate the effect of these underlying algorithms on speed and efficiency of read alignment. We discuss how general alignment algorithms have been tailored to the specific needs of various domains in biology.
  2. Abstract Background

    Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been implemented worldwide to curb COVID-19 spread. Belarus is a rare case of a country with a relatively modern healthcare system, where highly limited NPIs have been enacted. Thus, investigation of Belarusian COVID-19 dynamics is essential for the local and global assessment of the impact of NPI strategies.

    Methods

    We integrate genomic epidemiology and surveillance methods to investigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Belarus in 2020. We utilize phylodynamics, phylogeography, and probabilistic bias inference to study the virus import and export routes, the dynamics of the effective reproduction number, and the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Results

    Here we show that the estimated cumulative number of infections by June 2020 exceeds the confirmed case number by a factor of ~4 (95% confidence interval (2; 9)). Intra-country SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity originates from at least 18 introductions from different regions, with a high proportion of regional transmissions. Phylodynamic analysis indicates a moderate reduction of the effective reproductive number after the introduction of limited NPIs, but its magnitude is lower than for developed countries with large-scale NPIs. On the other hand, the effective reproduction number estimate is comparable with that for the neighboring Ukraine, where NPIs were broader.

    Conclusions

    The example ofmore »Belarus demonstrates how countries with relatively low outward population mobility continue to be integral parts of the global epidemiological environment. Comparison of the effective reproduction number dynamics for Belarus and other countries reveals the effect of different NPI strategies but also emphasizes the role of regional Eastern European sociodemographic factors in the virus spread.

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  3. Abstract Rapidly evolving RNA viruses continuously produce minority haplotypes that can become dominant if they are drug-resistant or can better evade the immune system. Therefore, early detection and identification of minority viral haplotypes may help to promptly adjust the patient’s treatment plan preventing potential disease complications. Minority haplotypes can be identified using next-generation sequencing, but sequencing noise hinders accurate identification. The elimination of sequencing noise is a non-trivial task that still remains open. Here we propose CliqueSNV based on extracting pairs of statistically linked mutations from noisy reads. This effectively reduces sequencing noise and enables identifying minority haplotypes with the frequency below the sequencing error rate. We comparatively assess the performance of CliqueSNV using an in vitro mixture of nine haplotypes that were derived from the mutation profile of an existing HIV patient. We show that CliqueSNV can accurately assemble viral haplotypes with frequencies as low as 0.1% and maintains consistent performance across short and long bases sequencing platforms.
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. Adrish, Muhammad (Ed.)
    Mexico has experienced one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. A delayed implementation of social distancing interventions in late March 2020 and a phased reopening of the country in June 2020 has facilitated sustained disease transmission in the region. In this study we systematically generate and compare 30-day ahead forecasts using previously validated growth models based on mortality trends from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for Mexico and Mexico City in near real-time. Moreover, we estimate reproduction numbers for SARS-CoV-2 based on the methods that rely on genomic data as well as case incidence data. Subsequently, functional data analysis techniques are utilized to analyze the shapes of COVID-19 growth rate curves at the state level to characterize the spatiotemporal transmission patterns of SARS-CoV-2. The early estimates of the reproduction number for Mexico were estimated between R t ~1.1–1.3 from the genomic and case incidence data. Moreover, the mean estimate of R t has fluctuated around ~1.0 from late July till end of September 2020. The spatial analysis characterizes the state-level dynamics of COVID-19 into four groups with distinct epidemic trajectories based on epidemic growth rates. Our results show that the sequential mortality forecasts from themore »GLM and Richards model predict a downward trend in the number of deaths for all thirteen forecast periods for Mexico and Mexico City. However, the sub-epidemic and IHME models perform better predicting a more realistic stable trajectory of COVID-19 mortality trends for the last three forecast periods (09/21-10/21, 09/28-10/27, 09/28-10/27) for Mexico and Mexico City. Our findings indicate that phenomenological models are useful tools for short-term epidemic forecasting albeit forecasts need to be interpreted with caution given the dynamic implementation and lifting of social distancing measures.« less