Coronavirus Variant A-Y4.2

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    In News

    • The latest mutation of the coronavirus variant, AY4.2 is “very infrequent” in India, according to a report by the India SARS-CoV-2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG).

    Key Points 

    • Delta (B.1.617.2) and its related sublineages (AY that numbered till 35) continues to be the main Variant of Concern (VOC) in India. No new VOI (Variant of Interest) or VOC are noted in India, according to the INSACOG. Many cases earlier labelled as AY.4 were now reclassified at AY.33. 

    About AY4.2 coronavirus Variant 

    • It has been linked to a rise in cases in the United Kingdom.
    • It is also present in multiple other countries and is seen in travellers to the U.K. from a large number of countries. 
    • It is not clear where AY4.2 originated or when
    • This lineage of the coronavirus has the mutations of Delta ( the dominant global variant )and AY.4(a sub-lineage).
    •  The characteristic mutations were S: A222V on the spike protein; and Y145H, which were mutations in the N terminal domain or the region of the coronavirus that doesn’t bind to the human cells.
    • Severity: it is still as potent as Delta. 

    Indian SARS­CoV­2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)

    • Established by MOHFW in Dec 2020.
    • It is a consortium of 10 labs across the country tasked with scanning COVID­19 samples from swathes of patients and flagging the presence of variants that were known to have spiked transmission internationally. 
    • Aim: To monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network.
      • Assist in developing potential vaccines in the future.
      • The NCDC will maintain a database of all samples of the new variants of public health significance. 
      • The data will be epidemiologically analysed, interpreted and shared with the state/district for investigation, contact tracing and planning response strategies.

    Source: TH