'Highly infectious double mutant B.1.617 found in one-third of all sequenced samples in India'

The data shows that the lineage, viewed as responsible for second wave, dominates with 75% of all samples of Variant of Concerns recorded in the country.

Published: 31st May 2021 06:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2021 07:37 PM   |  A+A-

A health care worker holds a collected sample of Covid-19 test, inside a mobile testing van, amid the surge in coronavirus cases in Amritsar,

Representational Image (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: One third of all genome sequenced samples of SARS CoV-2 from India shows presence of B.1.617 lineage, which was first reported in Maharashtra, shows latest data collated by INSACOG, country's genomics consortium.

The latest data clearly shows that the lineage, which is now viewed as responsible for the surge in several countries, drove the second wave and now dominates with nearly 75% of all samples of Variant of Concerns (VoCs) recorded in the country.

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), a consortium of top scientific institutions, state wise analysis of VOCs on May 28 shows that of the 21471 community samples sequenced, 11% were linked to B.1.1.7 while 31.9% were of B.1.617 lineage.

ALSO READ | B.1.617 COVID-19 variant, first detected in India, now found in 53 countries: WHO

Among these community sequenced samples, 9308 were VoCs – B.1.1.7, B.1.617 and B.1.351. Nearly 75% of these samples were B.1.617.

State wise analysis of proportion of B.1.617 in sequenced community samples shows nearly half of the states reported this lineage as prime driver of Covid-19 cases. The highest percentage was found in UP (81.8), followed by Gujarat (77.4), Jharkhand (67), Tripura (50), Uttarakhand (53), Andhra Pradesh (47), Maharashtra (47) and Telangana (46).

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“The B1.1.7 lineage of SARS CoV-2 is declining in proportion across the Country in the last one and half months. The B.1.617 lineage of SARS CoV-2 has been first reported from Maharashtra but now seen in other states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana. The current surge (second wave) in cases seen over the last two months in some states shows a correlation with the rise in the B1.617 lineage of SARS CoV-2,” said the consortium.

B.1.617 lineage is further evolved into three sub lineages – B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 and early data shows B.1.617.2 has higher transmission advantages over the other two sub-lineages.


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