Brazil Confirms The Circulation Of A New ‘Amazon Rain Forest’ Variant Of The Coronavirus.
The state-run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the largest medical research centre in Latin America, has confirmed the identification and circulation of a new variant of the coronavirus that, according to the researchers, has originated from the amazon rain forest.
It is the same variant that arrived in Japan after four Japanese travellers visited the Brazilian Amazon region and, according to Fiocruz Amazonía deputy director of research, Felipe Naveca, presents a series of so-far unpublished mutations.
A technical note points out that the samples analyzed in the Japanese accumulated an “unusual” number of genetic alterations, beyond those observed in the so-called Spike protein and that “resemble the pattern observed” in the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
“If these mutations confer any selective advantage for viral transmissibility, we should expect an increase in the frequency of these viral lineages in Brazil and in the world in the coming months,” says the document. It also explains that the mutations detected are a “recent phenomenon, probably occurred between December 2020 and January 2021 “, and “maybe representatives of a virus potentially of an emerging lineage in Brazil.”
The simultaneous emergence of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, in different parts of the world suggests “convergent changes in the evolution” of the pathogen, which has raised the concern of the medical and scientific community around of the globe. “The emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 harbouring mutations in the Spike protein, which can impact viral fitness and transmissibility, has been a matter of great concern,” Fiocruz highlights in the technical note.
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