New Covid variant reported in Sheffield
The emergence of a new Covid variant has been reported by scientists in Sheffield.
Dr Andrew Lee reader in global public health at the University of Sheffield, tweeted today: “Emergence of a new #covid variant #B11482 in South Yorkshire reported by team from @sheffielduni & Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Great work @Thushan_deSilva @cariadmevans @InfectionDave & others."
A paper published this week concludes: “The recent B.1.1.482 samples from South Yorkshire described here have acquired a significant number of mutations when compared to other SARS-CoV-2 viruses of the same lineage. Similar samples were also found in other regions in England, UK….
"Because of the number of spike gene mutations also found in VOC (Variants of Concern), or VUI (Variants Under Investigation), we recommended that this lineage is monitored closely for possible increased community transmission and functional studies undertaken to understand the impact on antibody recognition.”
It is not yet known whether the new variant is more transmissible or if existing vaccines are any less effective against it.