Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic classification of Tunisian SARS-CoV-2 strains from patients of the Military Hospital in Tunis

In the present work, two complete genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 were obtained from nasal swab samples of Tunisian SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive patients using nanopore sequencing. The virus genomes of two of the patients examined, a Tunisian soldier returning from a mission in Morocco and a member of another Tunisian family, showed significant differences in analyses of the total genome and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Phylogenetic relationships with known SARS-CoV-2 genomes in the African region, some European and Middle Eastern countries and initial epidemiological conclusions indicate that the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into Tunisia from two independent sources was travel-related.

Authors: Susann Handrick, Malena Bestehorn-Willmann, Simone Eckstein, Mathias C. Walter, Markus H. Antwerpen, Habiba Naija, Kilian Stoecker, Roman Wölfel, Mohamed Ben Moussa