The new variant identified in the UK – and provisionally named AY.4.2 -, has been identified nine times in Portugal, but the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (Insa) analyzed genetically.
From August 24th to October 4th, nine genetic sequences were analyzed, with the two additional mutations that characterize this variant (Y145H and A222V), referred Insa in the critical report “Genetic diversity of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Portugal”, released this Tuesday.
A genetic analysis indicates that the cases detected in Portugal represent several independent introductions of the virus, such as those under investigation by the Health authorities”, the report reads.
In the report it is possible to see that there are at least 32 secs of the Delta variant (among the 9,544 sequences of this variant), repeated with the AY code followed by a numeric code. The most frequent in Portugal is the preference AY.4, in which two new mutations emerged that gave rise to AY.4.2.
The AY.5 emergence is also frequent, accounting for about 30 to 40% of home-made cases each week (at least since June), followed by AY.7.2 with a frequency of 10 to 20%. AY.7.2 was a single change that showed an increase in frequency, but, alerts Insa, this rapidity does not show additional mutations in the protein spike (which allows the virus to enter human cells).
Discrimination in disconnections does not indicate that they present definite differences (ie, greater transmissibility, association with severe disease, greater capacity to evade the immune system, etc.) ”, warns Insa.
The purpose of defining the linkages is the “grouping of viruses with greater genetic / epidemiological proximity to each other”, for facilitate “continuous monitoring of genetic evolution and geo-temporal dispersion of SARS-CoV-2, enhancing the early detection of new mutation constellations (ie, variants) of interest”, he explains.
The report also highlights that no cases of the Gamma variant (which originated in Manaus, Brazil) have been detected since a week of September 13-19, when there was a small outbreak in Alentejo. And no cases of the Beta variant (which originated in South Africa) have been detected since a week of July 19th.