new coronavirus variant was discovered in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais), bringing a combination never before found involving 18 mutations of Sars-CoV-2, according to a study released this Wednesday (7).
The identification of the new strain of the virus that causes covid-19 was carried out by researchers from the Institute of Biological Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and from the Research and Development Sector of the Pardini Group, in partnership with the Municipality of BH and the Molecular Virology Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
In the study, the team analyzed 85 clinical samples collected by the RT-PCR method from infected people in the capital of Minas Gerais and the metropolitan region, between October 28, 2020 and March 15 this year. Among them, two new genomes were found containing mutations not yet known.
According to those responsible for the research, the BH variant appears to be formed by a combination of strains from Manaus (P.1), Rio de Janeiro (P.2), British (B.1.1.7.) And South African (B.1.1.351), all of them associated with greater transmissibility of the new coronavirus.
Possibility of circulation
As the two samples in which the mining strain of the coronavirus were detected belong to different people, unrelated and who do not live close by, the specialists reinforced the possibility of circulation of the mutation through the metropolitan region of the capital of Minas Gerais.
Although it is associated with other, more transmissible versions of Sars-CoV-2, it is not yet known whether this new mutation discovered in BH has a greater contagion capacity or whether it can cause more serious conditions.
According to the Pardini Group Research and Development coordinator Danielle Zauli, the measures to prevent the spread of P.4, as the variant may be called, are the same to protect against all strains, that is, to use masks, gel alcohol and keep the distance.