Research identifies possible new variant of Covid-19 in BH and region – Horizons

Research identifies possible new variant of Covid-19 in BH and region – Horizons
Research identifies possible new variant of Covid-19 in BH and region – Horizons
A joint research alerted, this Wednesday (7), to the possibility of circulation of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes Covid-19) in Belo Horizonte. The conclusion comes after the analysis of 85 genomes of samples collected in the city and in municipalities in the metropolitan region. The material was analyzed in the laboratories of UFMG, Hermes Pardini and the city hall of the capital.

According to the study, after sequencing, two new genomes were identified with mutations that had not yet been found. This material, according to the research, was in samples referring to the 27th and 28th of February this year.

“There is no evidence of an epidemiological link between them, such as kinship or residential region, which reinforces the plausibility of circulation of this new possible variant”, informed the researchers, in a note. In all, samples from the period between October last year and March 15, 2021 were collected, collected in RT-PCR tests carried out by the partner laboratories.

The investigation is carried out with the joint action between the Laboratory of Integrative Biology of the Institute of Biological Sciences of UFMG, together with the Research and Development Sector of the Pardini Group, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Molecular Virology of UFRJ and the City of Belo Horizonte .

The search

After sequencing the 85 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from clinical samples collected in BH and the region, the results demonstrate a progressive increase in the so-called SARS-CoV-2 concern variants, which are: P.1, P.2 and B.1.1.7.

According to scholars, the following strains were found: P.1 (30 samples; 35.29%), P.2 (41 samples; 48.23%), B.1.1.28 (8 samples; 9.41%) , B.1.1.7 (3 samples; 3.53%), B.1.1.143 (1 sample; 1.17%), B.1.235 (1 sample; 1.17%) and B.1.1.94 (1 sample ; 1.17%).

The study reinforces a worrying situation: the P.1, P.2 and B.1.1.7 variants have critical mutations in the gene encoding the viral spike protein (S), such as E484K or N501Y, involved in increasing transmissibility and escape immunological.

In addition, the N501Y mutation, present in strains P.1 and B.1.1.7, has recently been associated with an increase of approximately 60% in the risk of mortality in infected individuals in the United Kingdom.

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