Emergence and rapid spread of a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage with multiple spike mutations in South Africa

Africa, Coronavirus, E484K, Mutation, N501Y, Reinfection, Science, South Africa, Vaccine

“Here, we describe a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage (501Y.V2) characterised by eight lineage-defining mutations in the spike protein, including three at important residues in the receptor-binding domain (K417N, E484K and N501Y) that may have functional significance. This lineage emerged in South Africa after the first epidemic wave in a severely affected metropolitan area, Nelson Mandela Bay, located on the coast of the Eastern Cape Province. This lineage spread rapidly, becoming within weeks the dominant lineage in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape Provinces. Whilst the full significance of the mutations is yet to be determined, the genomic data, showing the rapid displacement of other lineages, suggest that this lineage may be associated with increased transmissibility.”



Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

** This post was originally published on January 6, 2021 **