France: ‘IHU’ new COVID variant discovered by researchers

On January 3, 2022, scientists discovered a new strain of COVID-19 in France. Scientists also stated that the new variant has more mutations than Omicron

France
New Variant discovered by researchers in France

On January 3, 2022, scientists discovered a new strain of COVID-19 in France. Scientists also stated that the new variant has more mutations than Omicron.

The variant is known as IHU, the B.1.640.2, reported in 12 cases by the researchers at the institute IHU Mediterranee Infection. These new cases have been discovered near Marseilles, and they are linked to the African country Cameroon.

The author of the study said they gave the name as they obtained the phylogenetic position of genomes and mutation set in the new variant. “The recovered data shows that it is another example of the unpredictability of the SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction in a given geographical place from abroad,” they added.

However, researchers have not specified how the new variant behaves and the effectiveness of vaccination on it. They said it is very early to speculate anything about the new strain.

According to some initial studies, IHU has 46 mutations and 37 deletions, resulting in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions. Moreover, the genomes have been obtained by next-generation sequencing with Oxford Technologies on Grid ION instruments.

“The spike protein contained fourteen amino acid substitutions, like N501Y and E48K and nine deletions. Its genotype pattern led to creating a Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2, and also known as the phylogenetic sister group, to the old B.1.640 lineage renamed B.1640.1,” the research paper underscored.

Further, Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding also gave a description about it and said that it would circulate in our environment, but this does not mean that it will be more dangerous. ” The contagious of the variant depends upon its ability to multiple because of the number of mutations with its relation to the original virus,” he asserted.

He further cited,” This is still to understand that in which category this new strain of COVID-19 variant will fall”.

The new variant Omicron was first discovered in South Africa on November 24, 2021. After that, more than 100 countries have seen its surge.