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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 1.14 PM IST

New coronavirus variant B.1.1.28.2 detected in India by NIV Pune, isolated from international passengers

covid-19-

​​​​​NEW DELHI: A new variant of coronavirus B.1.1.28.2 has been detected in India through genome sequencing conducted by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. The variant was isolated from nasal and throat swabs from international travellers from Brazil and the UK. The pathogenicity of the isolate was assessed in the Syrian hamster model and compared with B.1 variant.

The new variant induced body weight loss, caused viral replication in the respiratory track, lung lesions, and severe lung pathology in infected Syrian hamsters in comparison to D614G variant (B.1).

The test was conducted for about seven days on nine Syrian hamsters. The study was performed in Vero CCL81 cells and genomic characterisation by next-generation sequencing.

Experts opine that the new variant is similar to the Delta variant and could be more dangerous than the Alpha variant.

New coronavirus variant B.1.1.28.2 detected in India by NIV New coronavirus variant B.1.1.28.2 detected in India by NIV KEY HIGHLIGHTSThe variant was isolated from nasal/ throat swabs from international travellers from the UK and Brazil.

The pathogenicity of the isolate was assessed in Syrian hamster model and compared with B.1 variant. The study was performed in Vero CCL81 cells and genomic characterisation by next-generation sequencing.

New Delhi: A new variant of coronavirus B.1.1.28.2 has been detected in India through genome sequencing conducted by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. The variant was isolated from nasal and throat swabs from international travellers from Brazil and the UK. The pathogenicity of the isolate was assessed in Syrian hamster model and compared with B.1 variant.

The new variant induced body weight loss, caused viral replication in the respiratory track, lung lesions, and severe lung pathology in infected Syrian hamsters in comparison to D614G variant (B.1).

The test was conducted for about seven days on nine Syrian hamsters. The study was performed in Vero CCL81 cells and genomic characterisation by next-generation sequencing.

Experts opine that the new variant is similar to the Delta variant and could be more dangerous than the Alpha variant.


The sera from B.1.1.28.2 infected hamsters efficiently neutralized the D614G variant virus whereas 6-fold reduction in the neutralization was seen in case of D614G variant infected hamsters’ sera with the B.1.1.28.2.

Study conclusion

The study concluded that the "B.1.1.28.2 lineage variant could be successfully isolated and characterization could be performed. Pathogenicity of the isolate was demonstrated in Syrian hamster model and in comparison, with B.1 variant was found more pathogenic. The findings of increased disease severity and neutralization reduction is of great concern and point towards the need for screening the vaccines for efficacy."

"The B.1.1.28.2 variant which was found more pathogenic in hamsters producing severe pneumonia in comparison with B.1 lineage variant. The B.1 variant infected hamster sera showed reduced neutralization against B.1.1.28.2. The study points towards the necessity of genomic surveillance and characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 variants to understand its pathogenicity and immune escape potential for preparedness."

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TAGS: COVID VARIANT, INDIA, NIV PUNE, INTERNATIONAL PASSENGERS, SYRIAN HAMSTER
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