After a massive spike in COVID cases in the fifth wave, two new sub-variants had come to light and are known as BA.4 and BA.5, putting some countries on alert. Since they are considered the most contagious, because they have mutations that allow them to evade immunity.
Recently, a new subvariant emerged that has been circulating in the country of India and has already been detected in New Zealand for the first time.
“BA.2.75 is a recently identified second-generation subvariant of BA.2, the dominant variant circulating in New Zealand at this stage,” the ministry said.
What do we know about the BA.2.75 or Centaurus subvariant?
Early evidence from abroad suggested that the new 2.75 subvariant had some features that may enhance its ability to evade immunity similar to the BA.4 and BA.4 subvariants and BA.2.75. it may be more transmissible than BA.2, the Health Ministry said.
“There is no current evidence that it leads to more severe disease, although evaluation of the evidence is at a very early stage,” the ministry said.
The Seattle-based Bloom Lab, which studies the molecular evolution of proteins and viruses, said in a tweet that BA.2.75 was “worth tracking” as it had “appreciable antigenic shift.” compared to its parent variant BA.2.
He said there were two key mutations: G446S y R493Q.
Centaurus is as it is known due to the fact that it has 16 mutations that were acquired at the time. Which means that the variations were not acquired one by one, but all at once.
Eight of these mutations are found within the S spike protein, which is the one that is most related to the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, as well as two of them that are shown to be too effective, since they can evade the antibodies generated by vaccines, according to the Bloom Lab.
How widespread is Centaurus?
It should be noted that The Times of India reported yesterday that BA.2.75 had been detected in about 10 Indian states.
However, he said that the Indian Ministry of Health and the genomic watchdog organization, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, had not yet officially confirmed the detection of the subvariant in India.
However, they have also been found cases of the Centaurus subvariant in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Germany. Melbourne-based data integration specialist Mike Honey said BA.2.75 was an “evolutionary leap” from BA.2. It was prevalent in India, where it had a very high growth advantage of 18 percent per day over other Omicron BA.2 lineages, Honey tweeted.
What comes after omicron BA.5?
Here the most recent image of the new BA.2.75 sublineage (nickname: “Centaurus”): an evolutionary leap from BA.2.
It has been detected in India with a very fast growth, up to 18% of recent samples and spread to other countries. https://t.co/MdPROeULav
– Alejandro Macias (@doctormacias)
July 4, 2022
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