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Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 15, 2023  1 month, 1 week, 2 days, 21 hours, 27 minutes ago

Breaking News! Researchers Worried About New SARS-CoV-2 Variant First Identified In Israel And Now In Denmark That Could Be Called The BA.X Variant!

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Breaking News! Researchers Worried About New SARS-CoV-2 Variant First Identified In Israel And Now In Denmark That Could Be Called The BA.X Variant!
Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 15, 2023  1 month, 1 week, 2 days, 21 hours, 27 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: Researchers, virologist and variant hunters are worried about a new SARS-CoV-2 variant that was first identified in Israel that possess an extraordinary number of spike and nucleocapsid mutations.


 
Although only a single sequence of this new SARS-CoV-2 variant was initially identified from a sample submitted by a lab in Israel, in recent days, two other sequences of the same variant was detected in Denmark, sparking an alarm.
 
With literally no or very miniscule genomic sequencing being conducted in many countries at the moment, the emergence and spread of this new variant and even other strains and sub-lineages could be occurring undetected!
https://cov-spectrum.org/explore/World/AllSamples/Past6M/sequencing-coverage
 
The initial genomic sequence was uploaded on the GISAID platform (EPI_ISL_18096761) and according to Israeli experts came from a patient who was not chronically sick nor was immunocompromised.


 
A researcher brought the attention of the initial genomic sequence online.
https://twitter.com/shay_fleishon/status/1690684068642357248
 
Some variant hunters claim that the new strain could be a spawn of the SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 variant.
 
This new strain has a record 18 RDB mutations including 3 reversions and deletions including 69-70,144 7211 dels which are associated with disease severity!
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-39147-4
 
The new SARS-CoV-2 variant also has 4 amino-acid insertions and numerous mutations in the Nucleocapsid proteins including the NTD681 which is also involved with disease severity.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04266-9
 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8404900
 
There are so many worrisome mutations found on this new variant that are typically associated with increased transmissibility and infectivity, increased pathogenesis including increased fusogenicity and increased immune evasiveness.


 
https://github.com/cov-lineages/pango-designation/issues/2183
 
Some researchers are warning that this new variant could not possibly evade all forms of antibody immunity!
https://twitter.com/DarrenM98230782/status/1691097526517248001 t;
 
Some researchers also say that this new variant could be the new BA.6 sub-lineage!
https://twitter.com/Tuliodna/status/1691132134923161603

Other are calling it the BA.X variant!
 
Although only three sequences of this variant has been found so far according to COVID-19 News updates, there could be many more such infections involving this new variant going undetected and even if this particular newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 variant does not achieve the right viral fitness to become predominant, it could still spawn better second generation or third generation sub-lineages or even recombine with other existing sub-lineages and create new recombinant variants that could be far worse and with the right viral fitness to become dominant in circulation.
 
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is evolving at an unprecedented rate and never in the history of virology has a virus ever been seen to be constantly spawning mutations and newer sub-lineages at such a rapid rate.
 
The current relaxed COVID-19 measures that most countries are currently adopting including doing away with border controls and health screenings, removing of isolation measures, doing away with masking and other NPIs are all contributing to the evolutionary kinetics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But what is concerning is that with reduced COVID-19 testing and the miniscule genomic sequencing and genomic surveillance that is being done, it is apparent that mankind is heading for an impending  catastrophic disaster with regards to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

UPDATES: The variant has now been designated as the BA.2.86 variant and as of Saturday, 19th August, there are 7 sequnces detected across 4 countries!

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