National Institute of Virology, Pune, detected a new variant of coronavirus B.188.8.131.52 in India through genome sequencing. The variant was isolated from nasal and throat swabs from international travelers from Brazil and the UK.
In the Syrian hamster model, the pathogenicity of the isolate was assessed and compared with B.1 variant. The new variant induced body weight loss caused viral replication in the respiratory tract, lung lesions, and severe lung pathology in infected Syrian hamsters in comparison to the D614G variant (B.1).
About seven days, the test was conducted on nine Syrian hamsters. The study was performed in Vero CCL81 cells and genomic characterization by next-generation sequencing.
According to a report in Times now, experts said that the new variant is similar to the Delta variant and could be more dangerous than the Alpha variant.
The sera from B.184.108.40.206 infected hamsters efficiently neutralized the D614G variant virus. In contrast, a 6-fold reduction in the neutralization was seen in D614G variant infected hamsters’ sera the B.220.127.116.11.