SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic spread rapidly and this scenario is concerning in South America, mainly in Brazil with more than seven million cases of infection . Three major pandemic lineages/clades could be identified along with SARS-CoV-2 dissemination (G, GR, and GH) in the Americas . These clades differ according to their genomic characteristics, virulence, and spreading times . The present study describes the main clades and the respective temporal spreading analyses based on SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequences (WGS) from South America, obtained in the early pandemic phase (from March 1 to May 31 in 2020). SARS-CoV-2 WGSs with available information from country and year of sampling were obtained from different countries and the main clades were identified and analyzed independently with a Bayesian approach . The results demonstrated the prevalence of clades GR (n=842; 54.6 %), G (n=529; 34.3 %), and GH (n=171; 11.1 %). The frequencies of the clades were significantly different between South American countries . Clade G was the most prevalent in Ecuador, Suriname, and Uruguay, clade GR in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru, and clade GH in Colombia . The phylodynamic analysis indicated that all these main lineages increased viral spreading from February to early March and after an evolutionary stationary phase was observed . The decrease observed in the virus dissemination was directly associated to the reduction of social movement after March . In conclusion, these data demonstrated the current predominance of clades G, GR, and GH in South America because of the early dissemination of them in the first pandemic phase in South America . This article is protected by copyright . All rights reserved.
Index: SARS Coronavirus, dissemination, pandemic