A new strain of Coronavirus has been discovered in France that is thought to be more infectious than the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
A new strain of Coronavirus has been discovered in France, and it is thought to be more infectious than the highly transmissible Omicron variant. On December 10, scientists at the Méditerranée Infection University Hospital Institute (IHU) discovered a new variant. B.1.640.2. or IHU is the name given to the new strain.
According to news agency Sputnik, the new variant is more transmittable and vaccine-resistant than the existing Omicron variant, according to a research paper published on medRxiv. According to reports, the IHU variant has 46 mutations and 37 deletions. At least 12 cases of the new variant have been reported near Marseilles, with the majority of the victims being hospitalised, according to reports. Because of the new variant, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has seen a significant increase in demand in southern France.
The first patient had previously visited Cameroon, a country in central Africa.
“There are numerous cases of this novel variant in the Marseilles geographical area. We’ve given it the moniker IHU variant. There had already been two new genomes submitted “According to the research paper, Professor Philippe Colson, the head of the department that discovered the new variant, According to the research paper, the first person to contract the IHU variant was fully vaccinated and had visited Cameroon in central Africa in November. Three days after his return, he developed mild respiratory symptoms.
According to Colson, the patient’s nasopharyngeal sample revealed an unusual combination that did not match the pattern of either the Omicron or Delta variants, which were responsible for nearly all SARS-CoV-2 infections at the time. The same combination of mutations was found in respiratory samples obtained from seven other SARS-CoV-2-positive patients living in the same geographic area after qPCR analysis. According to a report by Sputnik, the group consisted of two adults and five children.
The IHU variant with the E484K mutation is more vaccine-resistant.
The E484K mutation has been discovered in the IHU variant, which is likely to make it more vaccine-resistant, according to the research paper. Aside from that, the N501Y mutation, which was first discovered in the Alpha variant, has been discovered, which could make the strain more contagious. Meanwhile, the new variant’s mutations resulted in 14 amino acid substitutions and nine amino acid deletions in the virus’s spike protein. The authors of the paper also claimed that based on the 12 cases found so far, it was too early to speculate on the virological, epidemiological, or clinical aspects of this IHU variant.
The IHU variant has yet to be investigated by the WHO.
The emergence of new variants, according to epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, does not necessarily imply that they will be more deadly. According to PTI, “What makes a variant more well-known and dangerous is its ability to multiply due to the number of mutations it has in relation to the original virus.” “This is when it turns into a “variant of concern,” such as Omicron, which is more contagious and immune-evasive. It’s unclear which category this new variant will fall into “He went on to say that It is important to note that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet looked into the IHU variant.