Mu, C.1.2 variants of SARS-CoV2 not found in India: INSACOG
India has so far not seen Mu and C.1.2, the two new variants of SARS-CoV2, and the Delta variant and its sub-lineages continue to be the main Variants of Concern in the country, INSACOG, the genome sequencing consortium, has said. The consortium has called for more strongly implementing existing recommendations on the sequencing of positive samples from international travelers.
C.1.2 is a sub-lineage of the C.1 variant: INSACOG
The World Health Organization (WHO) has added B.1.621 (including B.1.621.1) to the list of Variants of Interest (VOI) on August 30 and christened it Mu. It has also added C.1.2 as a new VOI. "C.1.2 is a sub-lineage of the C.1 variant found in South Africa but did not spread globally," the INSACOG said.
Delta, its sub-lineages continue to be main VOC in India
"Neither Mu nor C.1.2 are seen in India so far. Existing recommendations on sequencing of positive samples from international travelers may be more strongly implemented. Monitoring and evaluation of further data appear to be adequate at this time," the INSACOG said in its bulletin dated September 10. "Delta and Delta sub-lineages continue to be the main VOC in India," it added.
Mutations in Mu indicate potential immune escape properties: INSACOG
The Delta variant has been driving infections in several countries. In India, it led to a deadly second wave. The INSACOG said Mu has mutations that indicate potential immune escape properties. There appears to be a reduction in neutralization capacity of convalescent and vaccine sera, similar to that seen for the Beta variant, but this needs to be confirmed by further studies.
Global prevalence of Mu variant is currently below 0.1 percent
Although the global prevalence of the Mu variant has declined and is currently below 0.1 percent, the prevalence in Colombia (39 percent) and Ecuador (13 percent) has consistently increased, according to the WHO bulletin.
C.1.2 variant contains mutations of all three types: INSACOG
It said the C.1.2 variant seems to have undergone many mutations in a short time and contains mutations of all the three types that have previously been found to be important for transmissibility and immune escape. "The only clinical data for actual transmissibility is a rise from 0.2 percent in May to two percent in July," the INSACOG said.