First case of covid-19 centaur subvariant detected in Mexico

The National Institute of Genomic Medicine (Inmegen) detected the first case of Centaur either Centaurusfrom the covid-19 omicron lineage of concern, called BA.2.75, in a 43-year-old woman from Mexico City whose case is under epidemiological surveillance.

The first patient is a woman who went to the Salud Digna laboratory on August 31, 2022 and on September 12, as published by Inmegen on the GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data) platform, resulting in the first case detected with this variant, which was identified in India in early June and has spread to Australia, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Greece, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, among others.

In the world, according to GISAID, there are 6,823 cases with this lineage BA.2.75, detected on June 15 in Indiaand of these, 708 are located in the American continent, with the United States and Canada being the most affected, then Martinique and now Mexico with an official case.

Infectologist Ricardo Teijeiro, a member of the Argentine Society of Infectious Diseases (SADI), indicated that the new subvariant of omicron BA.2.75 (which also arose from BA.2) like BA.4, BA.5 produce more infections, especially among patients with immunological disorders, in addition to replicating longer in an organism, promoting new mutations.

The scientific community warned that BA.2.75 could be expanded up to five times faster than its predecessors and that the first genetic studies suggest that Centauro accumulates a range of mutations in the region of the spicule, also known as the entry key used by the virus to infect human cells.

“A change in this zone could, theoretically, cause the virus to become more elusive for the immune system. This, in turn, could cause the virus to re-infect both people who have already had the disease and those who have been vaccinated”, they pointed out.

However, the Technical Advisory Group on the Evolution of Viruses, of the World Health Organization, called for calm on this subvariant, nicknamed by scientists as Centaur, but which still lacks an official name from the health authorities. international.

“This is a subvariant that is very different from the previous ones and that has enough properties for us to view it with concern. We have to wait and see, of course we are monitoring it,” said Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the WHO.

However, the international scientific community once again raised the alarm about the possibility that it could “be more dangerous” than other variations of SARS-CoV-2 and omicron.

According to the scientific community, the BA.2.75 subvariant has around 16 mutations detected in its genome, eight of which are in the spike protein, four in the N-terminal domain and another four in the receptor binding domain.

The lineage-defining signature mutations are spikes K147E, W152R, G446S, and R493Q. Meanwhile, G446S and R493Q can influence both immune escape and ACE2 binding.


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