SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Profiling of Quebec Pandemic

Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, the virus that causes COVID-19 has evolved from its original RNA sequence coming from an animal viral strain. Using bioinformatics methods, population genetics models and machine learning algorithms, our laboratory at the MHI research center is analyzing all the genomic sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 sequences available worldwide, from various geographic regions. In the next months, we aim to analyze all sequences and associated data that will be available in Quebec to understand the evolution of the pandemic, in order to inform vaccine and treatment endeavors.

Our specific objectives are to:

  1. characterize the mutation and recombination rates of different strains and their impact on vaccine and new anti-viral treatment proposed;
  2. detect and predict within-host selective pressures and allelic interactions in sequences;
  3. study viral-host interactions to understand variability in patients’ symptoms and outcomes, depending on ancestry, sex, age, co-morbidities and personal genetic background.

The group is involved in the following collaborations:

  • COLCORONA clinical trial, (MHI and CRCHUL)
  • Pavel Hamet’s laboratory and Johanne Tremblay’s laboratory (CRCHUM)
  • LSPQ, with close collaboration with Jesse Shapiro’s laboratory
  • COVID19-QB (Vincent Mooser, McGill University)
  • COVID-19 taskforce at MILA (Guy Wolf, Irina Rish)
  • Morgan Craig’s laboratory (UdM)
  • Sebastien Giguère’s research team (InVivo AI)
  • Smita Krishnaswamy’s laboratory (Yale University)