A New IHU Variant of Corona Discovered with 46 Mutations

A New IHU Variant of Corona Discovered with 46 Mutations

Scientists in France have discovered a new IHU variant of coronavirus after omicron, having 46 mutations, making it more resistant to vaccines and contagious strain variant as compared to Omicron. However, this variant B.1.640.2 has not been spread in France and other countries as well or labeled as a variant by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its investigation.

Researchers, scientists, doctors, and common people in so many countries across the world are already struggling because of the COVID- 19 and its different variants emerging with time. Meanwhile, this new variant found at the Institute of IHU Mediterranee Infection in France has increased the stress and threat in the world, the scientists named it IHU Variant. It was first identified on December 10 by scientists.

“The mutation set and phylogenetic position of the genomes obtained here indicate based on our previous definition a new variant we named IHU,” the authors of the study said.

“These data are another example of the unpredictability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, and of their introduction in a given geographical area from abroad,” they added.

According to media reports, nearly 12 new cases of this strain variant have been reported near Marseilles, and it was linked through the travel to the African country Cameroon. 

In a paper posted on medRxiv, it was announced that the genomes were acquired by next-generation sequencing with Oxford Nanopore Technologies on GridION instruments. 

“Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are located in the spike protein. This genotype pattern led to creating a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2, which is a phylogenetic sister group to the old B.1.640 lineage renamed B.1.640.1,” the research paper said. 

Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding posted a long tweet on Twitter in which he had written that the new variants will be kept emerging but that doesn’t mean they will be more dangerous compared to the previous variants. “What makes a variant more well-known and dangerous is its ability to multiply because of the number of mutations it has in relation to the original virus,” he said in his tweet. 

“This is when it becomes a “variant of concern” – like Omicron, which is more contagious and more past immunity evasive. It remains to be seen in which category this new variant will fall,” the doctor further said.

Results concluded about the IHU variant from the research:-

Here is what we came to know about this new COVID-19 variant from the research:-

  • Researchers informed that B.1.640.2, this strain variant has 46 mutations, which are more than the omicron variant and because of this it is more infectious and resistant to vaccines.
  • Tests found that strain sustains the N501Y mutation, first detected in the Alpha variant, which is more transmissible according to the experts.
  • According to scientists, it is more resistant to vaccines because it contains the E484K mutation which saves it from the antibodies present in the vaccines.
  • It hasn’t been spotted in other countries or even declared as a variant by World Health Organization (WHO) till now.

But, still, the dominant variant is Omicron in France, joining other European countries like the United Kingdom and Portugal with gushing case numbers in the past few days. The Omicron variant was first detected on November 24 last year in the sample taken from South Africa. Since then, it has been spread over 1000 countries across the world. In India, currently, we have 1900 cases of omicron variant and this number is increasing day by day in all the countries.

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