Researchers identify circulation of possible new variant in Minas

Researchers identify circulation of possible new variant in Minas
Researchers identify circulation of possible new variant in Minas
The Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) is studying the possible emergence of a new strain of Sars-Cov-2, as the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 pandemic is known. According to the newspaper “O Tempo”, the new variant was identified in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte and in the state capital itself by researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), from the Hermes Pardini group, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro ( UFRJ) and the city hall of the capital. The information was released on Wednesday (7).

Also according to the capital’s newspaper, it is not yet known whether the new strain has the greatest potential for contagion or whether it causes more severe clinical conditions in those infected with Covid-19. To identify the new variant, the researchers sequenced 85 genomes of Sars-Cov-2 from clinical samples collected in the region of Belo Horizonte.

Through a note sent to the press, the researchers stated that “two new genomes are in samples collected on February 27 and 28, 2021 and there is no evidence of an epidemiological link between them, such as kinship or residential region, which reinforces the plausibility circulation of this new possible variant ”.

Content continues after the announcement

“It is the first time that there is a description of the new possible variant. It had not been previously described. We still don’t know what it can cause. The mutations that it has, always in the same place, in protein S, may or may not be related to increased transmissibility. We just found out, we still don’t know ”, explains Danielle Zauli, Pardini’s Research and Development coordinator, as published by“ O Tempo ”.

Despite the possible new strain, the researcher pointed out that there is no reason to panic at the moment and that the recommended sanitary measures to avoid contagion remain the same. “Isolation, alcohol gel and mask. It is necessary to have more and more vigilance, mainly in the metropolitan region of BH. It may be that this variant is in other parts of the country, but we need to be very careful. It generates a certain panic, but we still don’t know anything about it ”.

The newspaper “O Globo”, on the other hand, considered that the new strain is “potentially dangerous” and has a combination of 18 mutations never previously described in Sars-CoV-2. Among them, some shared with the Brazilian variants P1 (originated in Manaus) and P2 (Rio de Janeiro), with the South African B.1.1.351 and with the British B.1.1.7 .. Such mutations would be associated with a greater transmission. The risk of worsening Covid-19 is still assessed.

Also according to the Rio de Janeiro newspaper, the new variant may come to be called P4 and appears to have the same origin as P1 and P2. P3 emerged in the Philippines. It looks like a P1 with more additions, but we are still studying ”, says the study’s coordinator, Renato Santana, according to“ O Globo ”.

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