New variant of interest detected in South Africa with COVID-19 C.1.2

Once again, a new variant is found and named C.1.2. In South Africa, the variant of interest has been detected for the first time that has come from the PANGO lineage.
In May 2021, C.1.2 has been detected for the first time during the third wave of coronavirus within South Africa. Since the time, it has been noticed in some other provinces of South Africa also. Apart from South Africa, it can be found in seven countries from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Europe also. The study the researchers has not been peer viewed yet. However, it is already posted on the pre-print server of medRxiv.

From the variant C.1 that has been seen in the coronavirus first wave, the new strain has evolved. It is also a variant that has been last observed in January, 2021.
Cathirine Scheepers and her team from NICD has said in an abstract that “C.1.2 is associated with increased transmissibility and reduced neutralisation sensitivity”
Substantial mutation from C.1 can be noticed in C.1.2. It is a mutation that is quite away other mutations seen around the world and originally seen with the Wuhan variant.

Study has suggested that there is around 41.8 mutations per year has been noticed with the C.1.2 variant. In comparison to the global estimate, it may be 1.7 fold faster. As far as initial estimate is concerned, it is around 1.8 fold faster with its evolution
Increased evolution in shorter period has been noticed with other COVID-19 variant like Alpha, Beta and Gamma also. Through a single event, cases can be amplified and it may lead to a faster rate of mutation.
Spike mutation up to 52% noticed in C.1.2 variant has been detected with other VOCs and CVOIs also. D614G, E484K and N501Y have shared by Beta and Gamma whereas E484K has been found with the Alpha variant.
Through further studies, more information may be discovered about C.1.2 variant in the future. Consistent rise in cases has been observed in South Africa with this variant. In the month of May, there has been around 0.2% cases whereas it has come 2% in July. Similar type of increase has been seen with the Beta and Delta variant in South Africa too.

Till the month of August, 80 sequences have been found that matches the C.1.2 lineage. Scheepers has said “More study is needed to determine the functional impact of these mutations, which likely include neutralising antibody escape, and to investigate whether it confers advantage over the Delta variant”

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