TORONTO – A scientist in the United Kingdom is documenting a COVID-19 variant that originated in Botswana with a surprising number of mutations, despite only 10 confirmed cases so far.
Variant B.1.1.529 was first detected in the South African country and has since been detected in South Africa and in a tourist in Hong Kong who had been to South Africa.
Although only 10 cases have been confirmed through sequencing – three in Botswana, six in South Africa and one in Hong Kong – Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, said the potential of It is remarkable due to having 32 mutant mutants.
“Exporting to Asia means this could be more widely available than sequences,” Peacock wrote on a genome-sharing website. “Also, the extremely long branch length and extremely high number of spike spikes suggest that this can be really worrisome.”
Mutations in the mutated protein, or spike spike, can change the way the virus infects and spreads into cells. These mutations can also make it harder for the body’s immune system to attack it.
The World Health Organization currently lists B.1.1.529 as a “variant under observation”, which falls under the agency’s classifications of “variant of interest” and “variant of concern”.
In one Twitter thread about variationPeacock calls the spike spike configuration “terrible”, but emphasizes that the lower-case numbers make it just something worth keeping an eye on at the moment.
“It’s worth emphasizing that this is super low right now in an area of Africa that’s pretty well sampled, but it’s very much in need of monitoring given that awful spike record,” he said. he say.
“Perhaps this is just a strange cluster that cannot be transmitted. I hope so, ” he wrote in another tweet.