Study: P.1 (Brazilian) Coronavirus variant is likely to be more transmissible than other strains of SARS-CoV-2 | Business Upturn

Study: P.1 (Brazilian) Coronavirus variant is likely to be more transmissible than other strains of SARS-CoV-2

The research published in the journal Science, used data from Manaus city in Brazil to characterize P.1 and its properties, including 184 samples of genetic sequencing data.

The city of Manaus is facing a massive second wave outbreak, with a high number of deaths and it also witnessing its healthcare system collapsing. The researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and their colleagues in Brazil found that genetically speaking, P.1 is different from the previous strains of coronavirus.

The researchers said that the virus has acquired 17 mutations including important trio mutations in the spike protein. The “trio” includes:

  • K417T
  • E484K
  • N501Y

This spike protein helps the Coronavirus to infect the human cells. Samir Bhatt, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen and the author of the study told PTI that their epidemiological model that P.1 is likely to be more transmissible than the previous strains of coronavirus. He also said the P.1 virus was able to evade immunity gained from other strains of infection.

The researchers noted that P1 emerged in Manaus around November 2020. the variant has since spread to Brazil, as well as many other countries around the world including India.

Samir Bhatt further added that the new virus strain went from being non-detectable in their genetic studies to accounting for 87 per cent of the positive samples in just seven weeks. The research then used epidemiological data to estimate how transmissible P.1 is. They also estimated the size of P1 evading immunity gained from previous infections. Bhatt stated that their model incorporates many data sources such as genetic sequences and mortality count and compares two different virus strains to see which one best explains the scenario that unfolded in Brazil.

The model allowed the researchers to conclude that P.1 is 1.7 to 2.4 times more transmissible than non-P! legacy of the coronavirus. Moreover, the research said that P.1 was likely to evade 10 to 46 per cent of the immunity gained from non-p.1 coronavirus.

Bhatt cautioned that extrapolating the results of the virus anywhere else in the world and said that surveillance of the infections, and that of the different strains of the virus was needed in many countries to get the pandemic under control.