France detects a new Kovid-19 variant named ‘IHU’, 12 infected – World Affairs SRS

France detects a new Kovid-19 variant named ‘IHU’, 12 infected

– World Affairs SRS

French researchers have detected a new COVID variant, probably of Cameroonian origin, and tentatively named it ‘IHU’.

The new variant of the lineage, named B.1.640.2, is believed to have infected 12 people in the country, according to a peer-reviewed study supported by the French government.


It has 46 mutations and 37 deletions.

“For twelve SARS-CoV-positive patients living in the same geographic region of south-eastern France, the qPCR test to screen for variant-associated mutations showed an unusual combination,” said Philippe Colson from IHU Mediterranee Infection, Marseille, France said.

However, “it is too early to speculate on the virological, epidemiological or clinical features of this IHU variant based on these 12 cases,” Colson said.

According to the study, the index case (the first patient) was a vaccinated adult who had returned to France from a trip to Cameroon in Central Africa.

He developed mild respiratory symptoms three days after returning. His nasopharyngeal sample, collected in mid-November 2021, “revealed an unusual combination that did not correspond to the pattern of the delta variant involved in nearly all SARS-CoV-2 infections at the time”, and later also for Omicron, Colson said.

Respiratory samples collected from seven other SARS-CoV-2-positive patients living in the same geographic area demonstrated a similar combination of mutations as screened for by qPCR. They were two adults and five children (under the age of 15).

Respiratory samples from these eight patients were sent to the University Hospital Institute for Mediterranean Infection for SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing as recommended by the French public health authorities.

Further tests led to the identification of the SARS-CoV-2 genotype. The analysis revealed 46 mutations and 37 deletions resulting in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions. Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are located in the spike protein.

“This genotype pattern led to the creation of a new pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2, a phylogenetic sister group to the older B.1.640 lineage which has been renamed B.1.640.1. Both lineages have 25 nucleotide substitutions.” And 33 are different from deletions.” study said.

“The mutation set and phylogenetic position of the genome obtained here indicate a new variant, which we have named ‘IHU’, based on our previous definition,” Colson said.

He said the data is “another example of the unpredictability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants”.

“Overall, these observations once again show the unpredictability of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction from overseas, and they exemplify the difficulty in controlling such introductions and subsequent spread,” said Colson. he said.

“SARS-CoV-2 variants have become a major virological, epidemiological and clinical concern, particularly with respect to the risk of escape from vaccine-induced immunity. The emergence of the new variant may be associated with the genomic origin of SARS-CoV-2.” guarantees increased surveillance,” he said.

–IANS

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