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Researchers find 133 Covid-19 mutations, three lineages after genome sequencing Bengaluru samples

The results were based on a total of 384 samples collected with the help of Burhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The report highlights that the same lineages were noted among children, vaccinated individuals and those yet to be vaccinated.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 17, 2021 7:48:10 am
A health worker collects samples of passengers for Covid-19 test at city railway station during Covid-induced lockdown in Bengaluru, Saturday, July 24, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Researchers who processed Covid-19 samples sent for genomic sequencing from people infected by Covid-19 in Bengaluru found three lineages — Delta and its sub-lineages AY.4 and AY.12 — to be dominant across age groups. As many as 133 mutations in the spike protein alone have also been highlighted by researchers at Strand Precision Medicine Solutions in their recent report.

The results were based on a total of 384 samples collected with the help of Burhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The report highlights that the same lineages were noted among children, vaccinated individuals and those yet to be vaccinated.

It was also noted that 52 per cent of the total samples that possessed the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant were from people aged 19 to 45. In the same age group, sub-lineages AY.4 were found to be present in 34 per cent and AY.12 in 13 per cent.

“We found several new mutations at low frequency (>0.3%<4.5%) in the spike protein in the 439-446 positions, in Delta, AY.4 and AY.12. Some of these are novel and not yet reported in global databases,” researchers said.

Further, the team that carried out the genome sequencing recommended the government to monitor any increase in the frequency of such mutations, noting that those might be a “signal for a new variant which may not be covered by the protection from vaccines”.

The researchers have also noted that more vaccine breakthroughs need to be sequenced to identify potential mutations associated with immune escape.

Incidentally, the genome sequencing report comes at a time when a recent report from the Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC) constituted by the state government forecast the third wave of the pandemic during October-November.

TAC seeks serosurvey report from BBMP

Meanwhile, The TAC has sought a detailed report from the serosurvey carried out by BBMP. Responding to the request, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta Wednesday said detailed information regarding the serosurvey and the report will be released after collecting more information.

He added, “Genome sequencing has shown more number of delta strains. The experts’ committee has advised examining if any other variant is found in the city. The committee has also suggested continuing genome sequencing and accordingly, BBMP will collect samples and test to see if any other variant is found in the city.”

The civic body chief added that more samples from people reporting breakthrough infections (double-vaccinated people infected with Covid-19) will be obtained and sent for genome sequencing at the earliest.

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