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Volume 26, Number 11—November 2020

In-Flight Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Edward M. Choi, Daniel K.W. Chu, Peter K.C. Cheng, Dominic N.C. Tsang, Malik Peiris, Daniel G. Bausch, Leo L.M. PoonComments to Author , and Deborah Watson-JonesComments to Author 
Author affiliations: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK (E.M. Choi, D.G. Bausch, D. Watson-Jones); The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China (D.K.W. Chu, M. Peiris, L.L.M. Poon); Department of Health, The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong (P.K.C. Cheng, D.N.C. Tsang); Public Health England, London (D.G. Bausch); National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania (D. Watson-Jones)

Main Article


Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the SARS-CoV-2 virus sequences from 4 patients on the same flight from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Hong Kong, China*

accession no. Source Sample collection date Nucleotide positions†
Nucleotide difference‡
241 3037 9857 11083 14408 23403
402124 Reference sequence WIV04† 2019 Dec 30 C C C G C A 6
476802 Patient A 2020 Mar 14 T T T G# 0
476801 Patient B 2020 Mar 15 T T T G# 0
476803 Patient C 2020 Mar 17 T T T G# 0
476804 Patient D 2020 Mar 19 T T T G# 0
460471 Massachusetts, USA 2020 Mar 27 T T C G G# 2
427528 New York, USA 2020 Mar 12 T T C G G# 2
418354 Ontario, Canada 2020 Mar 15 T T C G G# 2

*These 4 viral genomes are unique among the sequences deposited into the GISAID database ( January 10–June 13, 2020. They contain 6 polymorphisms compared with the WIV04 reference sequence of SARS-CoV-2, 3 of which are nonconservative. SARS-CoV-2 genomes that differ from these by 2 nt had been reported from Massachusetts, USA; New York, USA; and Ontario, Canada, in March 2020. SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
†A 2019 reference sequence from a patient in Wuhan, China (hCoV-19/Wuhan/WIV04/2019). The nucleotide positions shown are relative to this reference sequence (GISAID accession ID EPL_ISL_402124).
‡No. nucleotide differences relative to the virus genomes of patients A–D.
§Nonconservative polymorphism at nucleotide position 11083, which corresponds to a Leu (TTG) to Phe (TTT), L37F, amino acid change in the NSP6 protein.
¶Nonconservative polymorphism at nucleotide position 14408, which corresponds to a Pro (CCT) to Leu (CTT), P323L, amino acid change in the NSP12 protein.
#Nonconservative polymorphism at nucleotide position 23403, which corresponds to an Asp (GAT) to Gly (GGT), D614G, amino acid change in the spike protein.

Main Article

Page created: September 08, 2020
Page updated: October 19, 2020
Page reviewed: October 19, 2020
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