The Delta variant, which was first detected in Chile just two months ago, is now found in 61% of all genome samples. The MU variant, which was rising rapidly until just two weeks ago, appears to have been halted by the surge of Delta cases.
“Delta, since it was detected as a community circulation in the week of July 26, began its participation in the sequencing with 3% of the total positive samples analyzed. The following week it already occupied 6%, then 10% and 22% for EW 33. Since then, it has risen to 29% of the total in epidemiological week (EW) 34 (last August) when 373 samples were sequenced ; 40% in EW 35 with a total analysis of 473 and 61% in EW 36 but with only 71 samples sequenced.
For these same weeks, the Gamma variant of the virus, which for months dominated the infections, has continued to decline. For EW 34, 31% of the total samples were registered; 26% in EW 35 and barely 18% in EW 36.
The Mu variant detected for the first time in Colombia, like Delta, is also on the rise. From 18% in week 33, it went to 30 and 32% in the weeks that follow; while the Andean variant or Lambda continues to decline with 16% in SE, 8% in SE 34 and 2% in SE 35. For EW 36, it does not register presence, although there are still samples to be entered in that week.”
Chile has 77% of its population fully vaccinated:
The new Mu variant, B.1.621, detected for the first time in Colombia, surpasses Lambda and Delta and is already ranked as the second with the highest circulation in Chile. According to the latest epidemiological report from the Public Health Institute (ISP), although Gamma continues to be the most frequent variant with 41%, of the sequenced samples, Mu, with 29%, surpassed Delta (18%) and Lambda (11 %).
In less than a week, the Mu variant detected for the first time in Colombia , has been gaining space at the community level and has doubled its presence in the sequencing of positive samples carried out in the country , according to the latest report of virus variants published today by the Institute of Public Health of Chile (ISP).
LaTercera.com report (in Spanish)
Above, the latest sars-CoV-2 variant chart for Chile.
Below, the same chart just two weeks ago:
The Israeli Health Ministry on Monday warned that new coronavirus variants from abroad could force Israel into a lockdown that the government is working hard to avoid, with the Lambda variant posing a particularly pressing threat.
During a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to approve new measures for travel from abroad, a top ministry official warned of the Lambda variant that has rampaged across South America and crossed into the US.
“If it arrives in Israel we will go into the lockdown that we are so much trying to avoid,” Asher Salmon, director of the International Relations Department at the Health Ministry, told the committee.
Israeli Health Ministry figures released Monday showed 5,083 new virus cases were identified the day before. Of the 50,693 active cases, 531 are in serious condition. The death toll since the start of the pandemic was 6,673.
“In this study, we demonstrated that three mutations, the RSYLTPGD246-253N, L452Q and F490S mutations, respectively confer resistance to the vaccine-induced antiviral immunity. Additionally, the T76I and L452Q mutations contribute to enhanced viral infectivity. Our data suggest that there are at least two virological features on the Lambda variant: increasing viral infectivity (by the T76I and L452Q mutations) and exhibiting resistance to antiviral immunity (by the RSYLTPGD246-253N, L452Q and F490S mutations).”
PHE England have recently published new reports on the SARS-COV-2 variants circulating in Britain: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Zeta, Eta, B.1.1.318, Theta, Kappa, B.1.617.3, AV.1, C.36.3, Lambda, C.37
Variants under surveillance
Secondary attack rates
SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (the SIREN study) cohort monitoring
Part 2: Delta (B.1.617.2) surveillance
Surveillance through genomic data
Delta with K417N (Delta-AY.1)
Data on individual variants
Lambda (C.37, VUI-21JUN-01)
“We also observed that the spike protein of the Lambda variant presented increased infectivity when compared with the spike protein of the Alpha and Gamma variants, both of them with reported increased infectivity and transmissibility. Together, our data show for the first time that mutations present in the spike protein of the Lambda variant confer escape to neutralizing antibodies and increased infectivity.”
“The evidence presented here reinforces the idea that massive vaccination campaigns in countries with high SARS-CoV-2 circulation rates must be accompanied by strict genomic surveillance aimed to rapidly identify new viral isolates carrying spike mutations as well as studies aimed to analyze the impact of these mutations in immune escape and vaccines breakthrough.”
We report the emergence of a novel lineage of SARS-CoV-2 in South America, termed C.37. It presents seven nonsynonymous mutations in the Spike gene (Δ247-253, G75V, T76I, L452Q, F490S, T859N) and a deletion in the ORF1a gene (Δ3675-3677) also found in variants of concern (VOCs) Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Initially reported in Lima, Peru, in late December 2020, it now accounts for 97% of Peruvian public genomes in April 2021. It is expanding in Chile and Argentina, and there is evidence of onward transmission in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the USA, Germany, and Israel. On June 15, 2021, the World Health Organization designated C.37 as Variant of Interest (VOI) Lambda.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that the coronavirus variant of COVID-19, commonly known as C.37, has been named Lambda. Lambda has been identified in 29 countries, most notably in South America where it is believed to have originated.
First identified in Peru, the Lambda lineage was classified as a global Variant of Interest on Monday due to an “elevated prevalence” in South America, the WHO said in its weekly update.
Lambda has been rampant in Peru where 81 percent of COVID-19 cases since April 2021 were associated with this variant, authorities reported.
In Chile, it was detected in 32 percent of all submitted sequences in the last 60 days, and only outclassed by the Gamma (P.1) variant which was first identified in Brazil. Other countries such as Argentina and Ecuador have also reported elevated prevalence of the new variant.
The WHO reported that the Lambda lineage carries mutations that might increase transmissibility or strengthen the virus’s resistance to antibodies.
However, evidence is too limited for the moment, the Geneva-based organization said, and more studies are required to understand better the Lambda variant.
** Our opinion: At the moment, the Sars-CoV-2 infection numbers in South America seem to be declining after peaking in June 2021. The Delta variant seems to be more of a threat internationally when you compare Latin America infection figures with the UK figures for example **
Lineage prevalence in Peru: