Rising Indian variant B.1.617 responsible for case surge

The latest study shows that the UK variant (B1.1.7 lineage of SARS CoV-2) is declining in India, while the Indian variant (B.1.617) is rising and is largely responsible for the recent surge in cases in many states.

An analysis by Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), which assessed more than 3,500 samples as on May 4, reveals that 1,877 samples were of the UK variant and 1,527 of the Indian variant.

The Brazilian variant (just one recorded case) isn’t of concern so far, while the South African variant (B1.351) has been found in 127 samples.

In Delhi, 482 samples tested positive for the UK variant, 23 for the South African variant and 107 for the Indian variant. In Punjab, the UK variant’s count was 516 and it was 192 in Telangana.

The Indian variant’s predominance is clearly visible in the western part of India — 761 samples in Maharashtra and 146 in Karnataka. West Bengal, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha are also witnessing the rise in Indian variant. Madhya Pradesh appears to have both the UK and Indian variants in almost equal measure.

According to INSACOG, more than 25% of the UK variant samples have been traced to travellers and contacts. The figure is 73% for the South African variant. This is also borne out in states like Telangana, where 153 of the 192 samples were traced to international travellers and their contacts.

In contrast, only 1.1% of the total tested samples of Indian variant can be traced to international travellers and their contacts.

B.1.618 — another Indian variant — has been found in small numbers in the eastern part of the country, but its curve is diminishing.

The assessment reveals that the transmission and severity of UK variant is quite high. The South African variant (B.1.351) has also recorded 50% increased transmission but reduced antibody neutralisation. The Brazilian variant (P1) hasn’t spread much in India and is easily neutralised by antibodies and vaccines.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *