16 cases of new #coronavirus variant VUI-202102/04, B1.1.318 under investigation in Britain

Sixteen cases of a new variant, VUI-202102/04 (lineage B.1.1.318), have been identified in the UK. The variant has been designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) by Public Health England (PHE).

Cases of this variant, understood to have originated in the UK, were first identified on 15 February through genomic horizon scanning. All individuals who tested positive and their contacts have been traced and advised to isolate.

Following assessments, the variant was designated a VUI on 24 February. It contains the E484K mutation, which is also found in 2 existing VUIs present in the UK, but does not feature the N501Y mutation, present in all variants of concern (VOCs).

The addition of this variant as a VUI means there are now a total of 4 VUIs and 4 VOCs currently being tracked in the UK.

Gov.uk variant statement

Daily Mail report


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First case of the #P1 Brazil #coronavirus variant found in Denmark with mutations #501YV3, #N501Y, #K417T & #E484K

Denmark’s SSI:  The Technical University of Denmark, DTU, has found a case of the P1 variant, which was originally detected in Brazil.

The virus variant is also called VOC 202101/02 (Variant Of Concern, year 2021, month 01, variant 02). It has also been named 501Y.V3 after one of the key mutations. The Danish case has been found on Zealand.Mutations N501Y, K417T and E484K in particular are biologically important. As this variant has the mutation N501Y, which variants B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 also have, there is a strong suspicion that this variant has increased infectivity, but this has not been conclusively proven. This variant also has the mutation E484K, which studies have associated with decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies. It is not known whether this variant causes more serious disease courses.

The variant was found by sequencing positive PCR samples performed by DTU’s Center for Diagnostics and the sample has just been completely sequenced, and thus confirmed.

The vaccines that are approved in the EU incl. Denmark, is also expected to work against the new variant. Impaired effects may occur, but the vaccines are still expected to protect against serious illness.

Denmark’s SSI report


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Genomics and epidemiology of a novel #SARSCoV2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil #P1 #coronavirus

Through genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021, we identified the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, lineage P.1, that acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 receptor.

Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around early November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.4–2.2 times more transmissible and able to evade 25-61% of protective immunity elicited by previous infection with non-P.1 lineages.

Full Preprint Paper on Github (pdf file)


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Brazilian #coronavirus variant #P1 at 4.3% in Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio, and Marche in #Italy

“in our territory, in particular in some regions of central Italy ,there is an estimated prevalence of the Brazilian variant of 4.3%, not in the whole country, but in Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio, Marche”. This is “a particularly worrying fact. These variants are new and must be estimated both with respect to increased transmissibility and the potential not to guarantee the same immune coverage : increased transmissibility and the potential ability to reduce protection. They are extremely important to monitor and it is important that the most restrictive measures possible are taken.”  The variant South African , on the other hand, “is 0.4%  particularly in some areas of South Tyrol”.

The president of the CSS to reiterate that “the English variant has greater power infectious on the pediatric population . We have clear evidence. There is an increase in the number of cases even between 6 and 10 years “.

“The English variant has a greater transmission capacity. It has an estimated prevalence of around 54% , but it is a figure referred to February 18, so today the value is undoubtedly higher”.,

Comments by Silvio Brusaferro , president of the Italian ISS, and Franco Locatelli , President of the CSS.

Quotidiano.net report


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Patients with #covid tied to stretchers in #Amazonas due to lack of sedatives

Patients with serious Covid-19 at the regional hospital in Parintins, Amazonas, are being tied with gauze onto their stretchers because of a lack of sedatives.

JN interviewed the president of the Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine (AMIB), Suzana Lobo, who explained that the procedure is not wrong.  Lobo also said that intubating patients without sedation would be inhumane.

“[Without sedatives] The first thing that can happen is self-extubation, he [patient] removes the tube. This can lead to cardiac arrest (…) It is inhumane to imagine a person who will be kept on mechanical ventilation without be under analgesia and good sedation. She will feel discomfort, she will feel anxiety, she will feel fear … And all of this will lead to very serious consequences. ”


P1 #Manaus #coronavirus strain has at least twice the viral load

An analysis of 500 samples collected by the new RT-PCR test detected that the P1 line, discovered in Amazonas, has at least twice the viral load found in the others.

According to researcher Felipe Naveca, from the Leônidas & Maria Deane Institute (ILMD / Fiocruz Amazônia), responsible for the study, this is a possible explanation for why the P1 variant is more contagious than the other variations of the virus.

Analysis was performed with samples from different lineages, all from the state of Amazonas, and the results of the positive tests for P1 were compared with those presented by the other variants, in tests carried out between December 2020 and the end of January 2021.

“After using this real-time RT-PCR test, we were able to show that the detectable viral load in the nasopharyngeal secretion of patients with P1 is statistically higher than that of non-P1 patients. Perhaps this is the explanation related to the greater transmission. At least in our data, statistical support for that ”, says Naveca.

cnnbrasil.com.br report


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Phylogenetic relationship of #SARSCoV2 sequences from Amazonas with emerging Brazilian variants harboring mutations E484K and N501Y in the Spike protein

Here we report a preliminary genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.28 lineage circulating in the Brazilian Amazon region and their evolutionary relationship with emerging and potential emerging SARS-CoV-2 Brazilian variants harboring mutations in the RBD of Spike (S) protein.

Phylogenetic analysis of 69 B.1.1.28 sequences isolated in the Amazonas state revealed the existence of two major clades that have evolved locally without unusual mutations in the S protein from April to November 2020. The B.1.1.28 viruses harboring mutations S:K417N, S:E484K and S:N501Y, recently detected in Japanese travelers returning from Amazonas, branched within one of the Amazonian B.1.1.28 clades here identified, suggesting that these sequences could be representatives of a novel (unreported) emerging Brazilian clade, here designated B.1.1.28(K417N/E484K/N501Y). Our analysis also confirms that the putative novel clade B.1.1.28(K417N/E484K/N501Y) detected in Japanese travelers did not evolve from the clade B.1.1.28(E484K) recently detected in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian states, but both variants arose independently during the evolution of the B.1.1.28 lineage.

Full Virological.org paper


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UK alert issued after Brazil #P1 #Manaus variant was found in a #coronavirus test without a name on it

UK health officials want anyone who took a test on February 12 or 13 and has not yet had their result or did not complete their registration card to get in touch immediately.

An urgent alert has been issued after six cases of the Brazilian variant of coronavirus were found in the UK – and health officials have no idea where one of them is. The alert was issued tonight after the P1 variant was found in a Covid test without a name on it.

Health officials want anyone who took a test on February 12 or 13 and has not yet had their result or did not complete their registration card to get in touch immediately.

Leeds-live.co.uk report


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Six cases of #Manaus, Brazil #P1 #coronavirus variant found in #UK for first time

Six cases of the Manaus Brazilian coronavirus variant have been identified in the UK, Public Health England has said. It is the first time the variant, known as P.1, P1 or B1128 has been identified in the UK.

Two of the cases are from one household in South Gloucestershire, with a history of travel to Brazil. The third case is currently unlinked and an investigation is underway to find the individual as they did not fill in their test registration card so follow-up details are not available, PHE said. Three more cases have been identified in Scotland.

Full Telegraph.co.uk report


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Recombinant #coronavirus in #Norway combines UK, South Africa and Brazil variants

A multivariant of the British, South African, and Brazilian corona variant has been detected in a sample taken from a person who came to Trondheim from abroad.

There has been no further spread, municipal chief medical officer Tove Røsstad told newspaper Nidaros.

“We were informed of this after the person in question had finished his isolation period. It was a person who came from abroad and who tested positive at the border,” Røsstad noted.

According to Røsstad, the virus sample had some elements from the Brazilian variant, from the British variant, and the South African variant.

Norwaytoday report


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Italian vaccinated with Pfizer/Biontech vaccine is infected with Brazilian #coronavirus variant #501YV2

A health professional at a hospital in L’Aquila, Italy, was infected with the variant Brazilian P.1 of the new coronavirus, even after being immunized with the vacina pharmaceutical company Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech. The strain was identified in periodic examinations and analyzed by the Abruzzo and Molise experimental zooprophylaxis institutes.

According to reports, the patient would have contracted the mother’s virus after six occurrences of the disease were recorded in his family. Fortunately, none of them show symptoms, but the hospital’s doctors will analyze whether the other infections are also linked to the Brazilian variant.

OLhardigital.com.br report


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Scientist warns of 3rd wave of #Coronavirus in #Manaus, #Brazil

In  August 2020, Brazilian researcher Lucas Ferrante warned authorities of a 2nd wave of coronavirus in Manaus, Brazil in this article – an event which subsequently occurred and has been widely reported.

Now Ferrante has warned Manaus of a devastating 3rd wave of Covid-19 which could potentially allow the P.1 and P.2 Sars-Cov-2 variants to mutate and spread worldwide in this article: “Manaus City Hall ignores researchers’ warnings about 3rd wave of covid

‘..a third wave could drag on until 2022 and Manaus will be the world epicenter. “If no initiative is taken, as in the past, the third wave will be longer and will kill many more people. The alternative is a lockdown with more than 90% isolation and vaccination for the entire population of Manaus,”’.


Photo by Tomas Martinez on Unsplash