SARS-CoV2 Immune Escape B.1.1.420 and 2 B.1.617.1 Variants reported in France

The SARS-CoV2 virus has mutated multiple times since its outbreak in 2019. Numerous variants have already been identified and sequenced.A potential way to control vital damage is to monitor the prevalence of circulating variants and the emergence of new mutations. Critical scrutiny will help to prevent the spread of the new emerging variants which may possess higher virulence and resistance to drugs.

The two new variants with N440K, E484Q, and L452R which emerged in India, mutations have been associated with impaired antibody response and immune reactions. Alphabio’s medical laboratory in Marseille (France) conducted a real-time survey of the two new variants based on high-throughput whole-genome sequencing. The first N440K escape variant was isolated from a couple without a travel history.

The second E484Q – L452R variant was isolated from an Indian arriving in Marseille. Both the variants caused mild symptoms including asthenia and cough without comorbidity or severity factors. The PANGO lineage for N440K was assigned to be B.1.1.420 and for  E484Q – L452R variant  B.1.617.1 was assigned. The whole-genome sequencing of the B.1.1.420 variant revealed 14 missense mutations and B.1.617.1 harbored 22 missense mutations. The B.1.1.420 strain has shown resistance to class three monoclonal antibodies enhanced binding affinity to the ACE2 receptor in humans and may have the potential of a higher transmission rate.  Considering the immune escape conferred by B.1.1.420 and B.1.617.1 further thorough investigation must be carried out.

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Ref Link: doi:10.1101/2021.05.12.443357