Thursday, April 15, 2021

USP identifies South African variant of coronavirus for the first time in Brazil – Prime Time Zone

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Cepa is the one that worries scientists the most because it is the most transmissible and because it has the greatest capacity to escape from the immune system

EFE / Federico Anfitti / ArchiveStudy was carried out by researchers from the University of São Paulo, Instituto Butantan and Fapesp

A sul-African variant do coronavirus, known as B.1.351, was first identified in Brazil in a patient from the city of Sorocaba, not inside of Sao Paulo, through a study carried out by researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP), do Butantan Institute and the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP). The African variant is the one that worries scientists the most because it is more transmissible than other strains and because it is the most resistant to antibodies. According to the survey, the patient carrying the South African variant had no travel history and had also not met people who traveled outside Brazil, which suggests that the virus was introduced by travelers from abroad, leading to transmission variant location.

However, a thorough analysis of the mutational profile of this strain has shown that, compared to the South African reference, the genetic material carried three specific mutations. This suggests that the detected variant may also be an evolution of the Brazilian variant, the P.1. The researchers say that more research is needed to map the real origin of this variant in Brazil. The researchers analyzed about 217 samples until March 2021: 2 from Araçatuba, 64 from Santos, 65 from Campinas, 24 from São Paulo, 3 from Marília, 32 from Sorocaba, 26 from Ribeirão Preto and 1 from Taubaté. The study showed that most of the sequences belonged to the P.1 (64.05%) strain, variant of Manaus, followed by B.1.1.28 (25.34%), which was the most widely distributed in the country and probably gave origin to P.1. The British variant, B.1.1.7, was detected in 5.99% of the cases.

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