While the Brazilian P1 variant of the coronavirus is still living in Brazil, another new mutation may appear. Scientists from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, discovered a hitherto unknown set of mutations in two patients.
Virologist Renato Santana Aguirre says: “We counted eighteen mutations, a few of which we also see in the well-known Brazilian variants and the British variant.” “But there are also new mutations, which could make it a unique variant.” Only when Santana and his team find these specific mutations in at least three other patients will a new variable be recognized. “We will now conduct additional, specific research here, and in the neighboring countries,” the scientist says.
So it’s a variable: “The most probable parent is P1,” Santana believes.
The P1 variant is twice infectious
New samples from patients who have tested positive are brought to his laboratory every day. “We are monitoring the genetic evolution of the virus and identifying any variants of covid-19 in circulation here. There are five here in Belo Horizonte at the moment, of which the Brazilian variant P1 from Manaus is the most worrisome.”
“We were able to show that the P1 variable is nearly as infectious as the other variants,” Santana says. He participated in a major study on the most famous Brazilian alternative, the results of which are published in the scientific journal Science Has been published.
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