COVID-19: What do we know about the Mo variant prevalent in Colombia?

COVID-19: What do we know about the Mo variant prevalent in Colombia?

ZOOM – It appeared in January in Colombia, and now the Mu variant is dominant in this country and spread all over the world. It was classified at the end of August as an “alternative to follow” by the World Health Organization. Here’s what we know about it.

Will Mu be the new delta? The new variant of the coronavirus, called Mu or B.1.621, was first identified in January in Colombia. It is now prevalent and is the source of the most deadly wave of the epidemic last spring, health authorities said Thursday.

“More or less than 60% of the deaths we have sequenced are of this lineage”, an official at the National Institute of Health, Marcela Mercado, explained on local radio. Injuries and deaths hit a record high between April and June 2021, with up to 700 deaths per day, and the hospital system on the verge of collapse.

At the end of August, it was classified as “variable to follow” from the World Health Organization. Here’s what we know about the B.1.621 variant, according to the scientific nomenclature.

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Where has this mutation actually been observed and in what proportions?

The global prevalence of this variant among sequenced cases is currently less than 0.1%, but it is “constantly increasing” In Colombia and Ecuador, where they are now responsible for about 39% and 13% of infections, respectively, according to the World Health Organization. As of August 29, 4,500 sequences have been deposited on GISAID, a reference platform where data shared by laboratories studying genomes are listed, identified on Twitter the director of the Covid-19 technical team at the World Health Organization, Maria Van Kerkhove.

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In total, recalls Marcela Mercado of the Colombian National Institute of Health, Mo has already been identified In more than 43 countries, in South America, but also in Europe. In France, the Mu variant first appeared in May 2021. Since then it has been discovered 105 times, without ever succeeding in proving itself, according to Data from Public Health France (SPF), indicating that its traffic level is still very low overall. Its prevalence is currently 0.3% or less, indicating an SPF, which specifies that the mutation was not detected during the last two flash sequencing scans, which are performed each week on a sample of positive smears.

Is there a risk that Mu will dominate the delta variable?

“At this time it is not known how B.1.621 will behave against delta and this variant is being carefully monitored, although an overcast from delta seems unlikely.”, also refers to Public Health France. For health authorities, Mu It does not appear to offer any characteristics that give it a competitive advantage over Delta. Thus, it may never become dominant. “There is no data available on the severity yet.”, they add.

Is the alternative resistant to vaccines?

Mo is the fifth “different type of concern” the WHO has monitored since March. The UN agency warns that it has a number of mutations that suggest it may be more resistant to vaccines. The Preliminary data from Public Health England The efficacy of the vaccine appears to be low Similar to what was observed in the beta version., initially identified in South Africa, is developing the World Health Organization. Messenger RNA vaccines remain 77% effective against the beta variant. However, more research is needed to confirm potential resistance to the vaccine.

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