COVID Variant P.1 Is More Transmissible and More Lethal

COVID Variant P.1 Is More Transmissible and More Lethal

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Publish Date:
28 April, 2021
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A new report follows the evolution of a variant line of SARS-CoV-2 associated with rapid transmission in Manaus, Brazil, which evolved in November 2020. The study authors suggest that this variant, “P.1”, may be more transmissible. and more likely to evade the protective immunity elicited by previous infection with non-P.1 lines.

Manaus, Brazil, reached unprecedented levels of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in mid-2020. And after a short hiatus, cases increased with fatal consequences.

Using molecular clock analysis, Nuno Faria et al. Tracked the evolution of a new, more aggressive line called P.1, which has 17 mutations, including three (K417T, E484K and N501Y) in the spike protein. After a period of accelerated evolution, this variant surfaced in November 2020.

It is more transmissible and deadly than its predecessor and is more likely to escape immunity, the authors say. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of such troubling variants, which may show increased transmissibility and / or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic response, the authors said.

Reference: “Genomics and Epidemiology of the P.1 SARS-CoV-2 Line in Manaus, Brazil” by Nuno R. Faria, Thomas A. Mellan, Charles Whittaker, Ingra M. Claro, Darlan da S. Candido, Swapnil Mishra , Myuki AE Crispim, Flavia CS Sales, Iwona Hawryluk, John T. McCrone, Ruben JG Hulswit, Lucas AM Franco, Mariana S. Ramundo, Jaqueline G. de Jesus, Pamela S. Andrade, Thais M. Coletti, Giulia M. Ferreira , Camila AM Silva, Erika R. Manuli, Rafael HM Pereira, Pedro S. Peixoto, Moritz UG Kraemer, Nelson Gaburo Jr, Cecilia da C. Camilo, Henrique Hoeltgebaum, William M. Souza, Esmenia C. Rocha, Leandro M. de Souza, Mariana C. de Pinho, Leonardo JT Araujo, Frederico SV Malta, Aline B. de Lima, Joice do P. Silva, Danielle AG Zauli, Alessandro C. de S. Ferreira, Ricardo P Schnekenberg, Daniel J. Laydon, Patrick GT Walker, Hannah M. Schlüter, Ana LP dos Santos, Maria S. Vidal, Valentina S. Del Caro, Rosinaldo MF Filho, Helem M. dos Santos, Renato S. Aguiar, José L. Proença-Modena, Bruce Nelson, James A. Hay, M élodie Monod, Xenia Miscouridou, Helen Coupland, Raphael Sonabend, Michaela Vollmer, Axel Gandy, Carlos A. Prete Jr., Vitor H. Nascimento, Marc A. Suchard, Thomas A. Bowden, Sergei LK Pond, Chieh-Hsi Wu, Oliver Ratmann, Neil M. Ferguson, Christopher Dye, Nick J. Loman, Philippe Lemey, Andrew Rambaut, Nelson A. Fraiji, Maria from PSS Carvalho, Oliver G. Pybus, Seth Flaxman, Samir Bhatt and Ester C. Sabino, April 14, 2021, Science.
DOI: 10.1126 / science.abh2644