Deadly South African Covid-19 variant right now dominant in Bangladesh

April 08, 2021 Bangladesh
Several scientists at icddr,b have got carried out an intensive study and found that the South African variant of novel coronavirus is becoming dominant in Bangladesh.

In addition they analysed genomic sequence of around 57 samples of Covid-19 positive patients between March 18 and 24. Of these, 46 (a lot more than 80 %) were found as identical to the South African variant of coronavirus.

The icddr,b scientists also analysed genomic sequence of 99 novel coronavirus samples in the last week (between March 12 and 17) and found the South African variant in 64 or even more than 64 percent samples.

"A dramatic change in the distribution of variants was observed when the South African variant appeared. It became the most prevalent variant through the third week of March 2021 by replacing different variants. Just about all remarkably, the South African variant occupied 81% of the variants in the fourth week of March 2021. The results warrant constant monitoring of genetic variants of SARS/CoV2, which is essential for vaccine effectiveness and patients management," explained the icddrb on its website on Wednesday (April 7).

In the primary week of March (between March 5 and 11), the team analysed genomic sequence of around 30 samples. If so, there was no existence of South African variant. The samples were accumulated from 13 districts.

"We have continuing genomic sequencing of the samples gathered after March 24. The analysis is not ready yet," Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Senior Scientist and Head, Virology Laboratory, icddr,b, who led the genome sequence workforce, said.

Lately, the variants of SARS-CoV-2, especially the UK variant named simply because B.1.1.7, South African variant named B.1.351, and Brazilian variant named P1/P2 have pass on around the world, according to different studies across the globe.

These variants are thought to have increased transmissibility and harbour fresh genetic changes, which may impact scientific manifestation and vaccine performance, scientists said.

icddr,b initiated SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance found in December 2020 found in collaboration with the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Exploration (IEDCR), Directorate Standard of Health Products and services (DGHS).

Considering the the latest upsurge of Covid-19, the icddr,b researchers suggested everyone carry out the typical mitigation measures including putting on masks properly, cleansing hands, maintaining physical range, and avoiding gatherings irrespective of previous infections, vaccination, or perhaps new variants.

In addition they stressed that everyone must abide by the limitations recently announced by the Bangladesh government.

What's the South African variant?

The South African strain is among the various mutations of the virus that triggers Covid-19.

The strain first discovered in South Africa, and another discovered the UK, have changes in the spike protein that the virus uses to infect human cells, which may make sure they are more infectious.

Is it more threatening?

The South African variant appears to be more contagious.

University of Otago virologist Jemma Geoghegan said analysis suggested the South African variant could possibly be up to 50 percent more transmissible.

There is no sharp evidence that variant causes a lot more serious illness for a large proportion of folks who become infected.

But since it is more transmissible, more people could possibly be infected, meaning "proportionally there could be more persons in hospital, unfortunately, who actually die", Geoghegan said.

She said it had been not clear if the vaccines will be as effective on the new variants because these were created on genetic sequence from in regards to a year ago.

"Early evidence shows that some of the viruses that contain this mutation could possibly be better at reinfecting persons that have recovered as well as vaccinated."

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