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  • Philippe Lemey
Philippe Lemey

Philippe Lemey
KU Leuven | ku leuven · Department of Microbiology and Immunology

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851
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Publications

Publications (851)
Article
Recent advances in Bayesian phylogenetics offer substantial computational savings to accommodate increased genomic sampling that challenges traditional inference methods. In this review, we begin with a brief summary of the Bayesian phylogenetic framework, and then conceptualize a variety of methods to improve posterior approximations via Markov ch...
Article
Full-text available
Lassa fever is a severe viral hemorrhagic fever caused by a zoonotic virus that repeatedly spills over to humans from its rodent reservoirs. It is currently not known how climate and land use changes could affect the endemic area of this virus, currently limited to parts of West Africa. By exploring the environmental data associated with virus occu...
Article
Full-text available
As viral genomic imprints in host genomes, endogenous viral elements (EVEs) shed light on the deep evolutionary history of viruses, ancestral host ranges, and ancient viral-host interactions. In addition, they may provide crucial information for calibrating viral evolutionary timescales. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive in silico screeni...
Article
Researchers studying the evolution of viral pathogens and other organisms increasingly encounter and use large and complex data sets from multiple different sources. Statistical research in Bayesian phylogenetics has risen to this challenge. Researchers use phylogenetics not only to reconstruct the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, but...
Preprint
Full-text available
Zoonotic viruses that originate in wildlife harm global human health and economic prosperity. Understanding virus transmission at the human-animal-environment interface is a key component of pandemic risk-reduction. Zoonotic disease emergence is highest in biodiverse, tropical forests undergoing intensive land-use change. Phylodynamic analyses of v...
Article
Respiratory syncytial virus is the second most common cause of infant mortality and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults (aged >60 years). Efforts to develop a respiratory syncytial virus vaccine or immunoprophylaxis remain highly active. 33 respiratory syncytial virus prevention candidates are in clinical development using six...
Article
Full-text available
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Gamma variant of concern has spread rapidly across Brazil since late 2020, causing substantial infection and death waves. Here we used individual-level patient records after hospitalization with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between 20 January 2020 and 26...
Article
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Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused millions of infections and fatalities globally since its emergence in late 2019. The virus was first detected in Finland in January 2020, after which it rapidly spread among the populace in spring. However, compared to other European nations, Finland has had a low in...
Article
Biological phenotypes are products of complex evolutionary processes in which selective forces influence multiple biological trait measurements in unknown ways. Phylogenetic comparative methods seek to disentangle these relationships across the evolutionary history of a group of organisms. Unfortunately, most existing methods fail to accommodate hi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Transmission patterns and genetic diversity of dengue virus (DENV) circulating in Africa remains poorly understood. Circulation of the DENV serotype 1 (DENV1) in Angola was detected in 2013, while DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) was detected for the first time in 2018. Here, we report results from molecular and genomic investigations conducted a...
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Phylogeographic inference of the dispersal history of viral lineages offers key opportunities to tackle epidemiological questions about the spread of fast-evolving pathogens across human, animal, and plant populations. In continuous space, i.e. when locations are specified by longitude and latitude, these reconstructions are however often limited b...
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The 1918 influenza pandemic was the deadliest respiratory pandemic of the 20th century and determined the genomic make-up of subsequent human influenza A viruses (IAV). Here, we analyze both the first 1918 IAV genomes from Europe and the first from samples prior to the autumn peak. 1918 IAV genomic diversity is consistent with a combination of loca...
Article
Background Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV-D1 is the dominant subgenotype in the Mediterranean basin, Eastern Europe and Asia. However, little is currently known about its evolutionary history and spatio-temporal dynamics. Methods We use Bayesian phylodynamic inference to inv...
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, genomics and bioinformatics have emerged as essential public health tools. The genomic data acquired using these methods have supported the global health response, facilitated the development of testing methods and allowed the timely tracking of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. Yet the virtually unlimited potential for rapid...
Article
Full-text available
Among the 30 non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions in the Omicron S-gene are 13 that have only rarely been seen in other SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These mutations cluster within three functionally important regions of the S-gene at sites that will likely impact (i) interactions between subunits of the Spike trimer and the predisposition of subunits t...
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In Kenya, HIV-1 key populations including men having sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID) and female sex workers (FSW) are thought to significantly contribute to HIV-1 transmission in the wider, mostly heterosexual (HET) HIV-1 transmission network. However, clear data on HIV-1 transmission dynamics within and between these groups are...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic analyses of fast-evolving pathogens are frequently undertaken to test the impact of covariates on their dispersal. In particular, a popular approach consists of parameterizing a discrete phylogeographic model as a generalized linear model to identify and analyse the predictors of the dispersal rates of viral lineages among discrete location...
Article
Game animals are wildlife species traded and consumed as food and are potential reservoirs for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. We performed a meta-transcriptomic analysis of 1,941 game animals, representing 18 species and five mammalian orders, sampled across China. From this, we identified 102 mammalian-infecting viruses, with 65 described for the first...
Preprint
Full-text available
As viral genomic imprints in host genomes, endogenous viral elements (EVEs) shed light on the deep evolutionary history of viruses, ancestral host ranges, and ancient viral-host interactions. In addition, they may provide crucial information for calibrating viral evolutionary timescales. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive in silico screeni...
Preprint
This protocol is used for successful NGS library preparation from total RNA of animal tissue samples. This method is mainly optimised to obtain full-length hepacivirus genomes using the Illumina NGS sequencing platform, but it also can be used for sequencing any other RNA virus originating from tissue samples.
Preprint
This NGS workflow describes how to prepare libraries from total RNA with a rRNA depletion step to increase the yield of non-host RNA transcripts. This workflow was initially designed with the aim of generating full-length hepaciviruses, but can also be used for sequencing any other RNA viral sequences or RNA-related metagenomes.
Preprint
Inferring correlation among mixed-type biological traits while controlling for the evolutionary relationship among taxa is of great scientific interest yet remains computationally challenging. The recently developed phylogenetic multivariate probit model accommodates binary and continuous traits by assuming latent parameters underlying binary trait...
Preprint
Full-text available
Among the 30 non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions in the Omicron S-gene are 13 that have only rarely been seen in other SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These mutations cluster within three functionally important regions of the S-gene at sites that will likely impact (i) interactions between subunits of the Spike trimer and the predisposition of subunits t...
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has exposed major gaps in our knowledge on the origin, ecology, evolution, and spread of animal coronaviruses. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a member of the genus Alphacoronavirus in the family Coronaviridae that may have originated from bats and leads to significant hazards and widespread epidemics in th...
Preprint
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Current first-generation COVID-19 vaccines are based on prototypic spike sequences from ancestral 2019 SARS-CoV-2 strains. However, the ongoing pandemic is fueled by variants of concern (VOC) that threaten to escape vaccine-mediated protection. Here we show in a stringent hamster model that immunization using prototypic spike expressed from a poten...
Preprint
Game animals are wildlife species often traded and consumed as exotic food, and are potential reservoirs for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. We performed a meta-transcriptomic analysis of 1725 game animals, representing 16 species and five mammalian orders, sampled across China. From this we identified 71 mammalian viruses, with 45 described for the first...
Preprint
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant spread rapidly across Brazil, causing substantial infection and death waves. We use individual-level patient records following hospitalisation with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to document the extensive shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed Gamma’s spread across 14 state capitals, and in which more than hal...
Preprint
Full-text available
Divergence time estimation is crucial to provide temporal signals for dating biologically important events, from species divergence to viral transmissions in space and time. With the advent of high-throughput sequencing, recent Bayesian phylogenetic studies have analyzed hundreds to thousands of sequences. Such large-scale analyses challenge diverg...
Article
Full-text available
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain ATCC14028s is commercially available from multiple national type culture collections, and has been widely used since 1960 for quality control of growth media and experiments on fitness (“laboratory evolution”). ATCC14028s has been implicated in multiple cross-contaminations in the laboratory, and has a...
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Seven years after the declaration of the first epidemic of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, the country faced a new outbreak—between 14 February and 19 June 2021—near the epicentre of the previous epidemic1,2. Here we use next-generation sequencing to generate complete or near-complete genomes of Zaire ebolavirus from samples obtained from 12 differe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lassa fever is listed among the diseases that pose the greatest risks to public health by the World Health Organization. This severe viral hemorrhagic fever is caused by Lassa virus, a zoonotic pathogen that repeatedly spills over to humans from its rodent reservoirs. It is currently not known how climate change, transformations in land use, and hu...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have witnessed the discovery of several new viruses belonging to the family Arteriviridae, expanding the known diversity and host range of this group of complex RNA viruses. Although the pathological relevance of these new viruses is not always clear, several well-studied members of the family Arteriviridae are known to be important an...
Article
The independent emergence late in 2020 of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 lineages of SARS-CoV-2 prompted renewed concerns about the evolutionary capacity of this virus to overcome public health interventions and rising population immunity. Here, by examining patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations that have accumulated in SARS-CoV-2 genom...
Article
Full-text available
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major health problem. A better understanding of the geographical and temporal dynamics of RSV circulation will assist in tracking resistance against therapeutics currently under development. Since 2015, the field of RSV molecular epidemiology has evolved rapidly with around 20–30 published articles per year. T...
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To investigate the spread of Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) along the Niger River, regular sampling of virus isolates was conducted along 500 km of the Niger Valley in the Republic of Niger and was complemented by additional sampling in neighbouring countries in West Africa and Central Africa. The spread of RYMV into and within the Republic of Nig...
Article
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Following the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in spring 2020, Europe experienced a resurgence of the virus starting in late summer 2020 that was deadlier and more difficult to contain1. Relaxed intervention measures and summer travel have been implicated as drivers of the second wave2. Here, we build a phylogeographic model to evaluate how newl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Finland has had a low incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infections as compared to most European countries. Here we report the origins and turnover of SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in Finland in 2020. SARS-CoV-2 introduced to Finland in January 2020 and spread rapidly across southern Finland during spring. We...
Article
Full-text available
Broadly protective influenza vaccine candidates may have a higher barrier to immune evasion compared to conventional influenza vaccines. We used Illumina MiSeq deep sequence analysis to study the mutational patterns in A/Puerto Rico/8/34 viruses that evolve in chronically infected SCID mice that were treated with different M2e-specific MAbs.
Preprint
Biological phenotypes are products of complex evolutionary processes in which selective forces influence multiple biological trait measurements in unknown ways. Phylogenetic factor analysis disentangles these relationships across the evolutionary history of a group of organisms. Scientists seeking to employ this modeling framework confront numerous...
Article
Full-text available
The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) resulted in an extraordinary global public health crisis. In early 2020, Cyprus, among other European countries, was affected by the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and adopted lockdown measures in March 2020 to limit the initial outbreak on the island. In this study, we performed a com...
Article
Here, we identified a novel class of compounds, which demonstrated good antiviral activity against dengue and Zika virus infection. These derivatives constitute intermediates in the synthesis of indole (ervatamine-silicine) alkaloids and share a tetracyclic structure with an indole and a piperidine fused to a seven-membered carbocyclic ring. Struct...
Preprint
Full-text available
The 1918 influenza pandemic was the deadliest respiratory pandemic of the 20th century and determined the genomic make-up of subsequent human influenza A viruses (IAV). Here, we analyze the first 1918 IAV genomes from Europe and from the first, milder wave of the pandemic. 1918 IAV genomic diversity is consistent with local transmission and frequen...
Preprint
Local clock models propose that the rate of molecular evolution is constant within phylogenetic sub-trees. Current local clock inference procedures scale poorly to large taxa problems, impose model misspecification, or require a priori knowledge of the existence and location of clocks. To overcome these challenges, we present an autocorrelated, Bay...
Article
Full-text available
We report here the complete genome sequence of ruloma virus, a novel paramyxovirus detected in a Machangu's brush-furred rat from Tanzania. Ruloma virus has the longest orthoparamyxovirus genome reported to date and forms a sister clade to all currently known members of the genus Jeilongvirus.
Article
Full-text available
Unmitigated spread in Brazil Despite an extensive network of primary care availability, Brazil has suffered profoundly during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Using daily data from state health offices, Castro et al. analyzed the pattern of spread of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country from February to...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis C virus (HCV; genus Hepacivirus) represents a major public health problem, infecting about 3% of the human population. Because no animal reservoir carrying closely related hepaciviruses has been identified, the zoonotic origins of HCV still remain unresolved. Motivated by recent findings of divergent hepaciviruses in rodents and a plausib...
Article
Advances in sequencing technologies have tremendously reduced the time and costs associated with sequence generation, making genomic data an important asset for routine public health practices. Within this context, phylogenetic and phylogeographic inference has become a popular method to study disease transmission. In a Bayesian context, these appr...
Article
Full-text available
Virus host shifts are generally associated with novel adaptations to exploit the cells of the new host species optimally. Surprisingly, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has apparently required little to no significant adaptation to humans since the start of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to October...
Preprint
Full-text available
The emergence and rapid rise in prevalence of three independent SARS-CoV-2 '501Y lineages', B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1, in the last three months of 2020 has prompted renewed concerns about the evolutionarily capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to adapt to both rising population immunity and public health interventions such as vaccines and social distancing. Virus...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020, despite high levels of previous infection there. Through genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021, we identified the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, lineage P.1, that acquired 17 mutations, includi...
Chapter
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Epidemics of infectious diseases are an important threat to public health and global economies. Yet, the development of prevention strategies remains a challenging process, as epidemics are non-linear and complex processes. For this reason, we investigate a deep reinforcement learning approach to automatically learn prevention strategies in the con...
Article
Full-text available
p>Following the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in spring 2020, Europe experienced a resurgence of the virus starting late summer that was deadlier and more difficult to contain. Relaxed intervention measures and summer travel have been implicated as drivers of the second wave. Here, we build a phylogeographic model to evaluate how newly introd...
Preprint
Full-text available
Following the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in spring 2020, Europe experienced a resurgence of the virus starting late summer that was deadlier and more difficult to contain. Relaxed intervention measures and summer travel have been implicated as drivers of the second wave. Here, we build a phylogeographic model to evaluate how newly introduc...
Article
Full-text available
Spatially-explicit phylogeographic analyses can be performed with an inference framework that employs relaxed random walks to reconstruct phylogenetic dispersal histories in continuous space. This core model was first implemented ten years ago and has opened up new opportunities in the field of phylodynamics, allowing researchers to map and analyse...
Article
Full-text available
Computational analyses of pathogen genomes are increasingly used to unravel the dispersal history and transmission dynamics of epidemics. Here, we show how to go beyond historical reconstructions and use spatially-explicit phylogeographic and phylodynamic approaches to formally test epidemiological hypotheses. We illustrate our approach by focusing...
Article
Full-text available
There are outstanding evolutionary questions on the recent emergence of human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 including the role of reservoir species, the role of recombination and its time of divergence from animal viruses. We find that the sarbecoviruses—the viral subgenus containing SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2—undergo frequent recombination and exhibit spati...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hepatitis C virus (HCV; genus Hepacivirus) represents a major public health problem, infecting about 3 % of the human population (± 185,000,000 people). Because no plausible animal reservoir carrying closely related hepaciviruses has been identified, the zoonotic origins of HCV still remain elusive. Motivated by recent findings of divergent hep-aci...