South African scientists discovered a “more transmissible” variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the first genomic sequencing carried out with samples collected in Angola. The variant was discovered last month in three Tanzanian citizens in Angola.
“When compared to other variants of concern (VOC, acronym in English) and variants of interest (VOI), this is more divergent,” said Professor Túlio de Oliveira, who leads the team of South African scientists at the University of KwaZulu -Christmas, specialists in innovation and genomic sequencing, who carried out the study. The discovery is “a new VOI given the constellation of mutations with known or suspected biological significance, specifically resistance to neutralizing antibodies and potentially increased transmissibility”.
“Although we have detected only three cases with this variant, this justifies an urgent investigation, as the country of origin, Tanzania, has an epidemic that is largely undocumented and few public health measures in place to prevent the spread inside and outside the country. country, “Túlio de Oliveira told the South African weekly Sunday Tribune.
The new variant “has not yet been reported in any other country”.
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