The Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 has been detected in New Zealand for the first time.
On Friday afternoon, analysis of whole genome sequencing confirmed 2 cases in New Zealand with BA.2.75. Before testing positive for COVID-19, both cases had recently travelled from India, where this subvariant has been detected.
BA.2.75 is a recently identified second-generation subvariant of BA.2, the dominant variant circulating in New Zealand at this stage. BA.2.75 has only been recently identified as distinct from BA.2, and evidence on its transmissibility, immune evasiveness and severity is still preliminary and emerging.
We do know BA.2.75 has some characteristics that look like they may enhance its ability to evade immunity, similar to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, and there is some early evidence overseas that it may be slightly more transmissible than BA.2. There is no current evidence that it leads to more severe disease, although assessing the evidence is at a very early stage.
Pretty sure the growth advantage of BA.2.75 over BA.5 is real. Small nr of sequenced genomes, but 25% of recent sequenced cases in Maharashtra will not be small counts in reality. Spike mutations also obviously indicative of immune escape. This looks like the winner after BA.5. https://t.co/qYNg9vFYu2
— Tom Wenseleers (@TWenseleers) July 2, 2022
Here is the geographic distribution of the cases : pic.twitter.com/BvUQImoDE4
— shay fleishon 🧬 (@shay_fleishon) July 2, 2022