New covid-19 variant: B.1.640.2 or IHU has 46 mutations, more than omicron

Known as ‘IHU’, the B.1.640.2 variant has been reported in at least 12 cases by researchers from the Institute IHU Mediterranean Infection, and has been linked to travel to the African country of Cameroon. Here’s about new strain.

  1. Scientists in France have identified this new, highly mutated strain – named IHU B.1.640.2. B.1.640.2 has not yet been identified in other countries or labeled as a variant under investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  2. It was discovered by academics from the institute IHU Mediterranee Infection and researchers say it has 46 mutations, more than Omicron. With more mutations, the new variant becomes more resistant to vaccines and infectious.
  3. At least 12 cases of the new variant have been reported near Marseille, and have been linked to travel to the African country of Cameroon.
  4. According to the researchers, the index (first) case was an adult diagnosed positive by RTPCR carried out in the laboratory on a nasopharyngeal sample collected in mid-November last year.
  5. The researchers also said that as far as protection against infection and vaccines are concerned, it is too early to speculate.
  6. The peer-reviewed study posted on the preprint repository MedRxiv on 29 December showed that IHU has 46 mutations and 37 deletions, resulting in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions. Amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins, and both are the building blocks of life. Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and nine deletions are located in the spike protein.
  7. Most of the vaccines currently in use target the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which the virus uses to enter and infect cells. The N501Y and E484K mutations were also previously found in beta, gamma, theta and omicron variants.
  8. The researchers stated that “the mutation set and phylogenetic position of the genome obtained is a new variant based on our previous definition that we named IHU.” He said the data is another example of the unpredictability of SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging and their introduction into a geographic area from abroad.
  9. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist, posted a lengthy Twitter thread on Tuesday in which he said that new variants keep coming out but that doesn’t mean they will be more dangerous. Feigl-Ding tweeted, “What makes a variant more famous and dangerous is its ability to multiply due to the number of mutations in relation to the original virus.” “This is when it becomes “a sort of worry” – like Omicron, which is more infectious and more immune to the past. It remains to be seen which category this new variant falls into,” he said.
  10. Several countries are currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omron variant, which was first identified in South Africa and Botswana in November last year. Since then, the form of concern has spread to more than 100 countries. In India, a total of 1,892 cases of Omicron type have been detected in 23 states and union territories so far.