February 6, 2023

SP identifies first case of XBB.1.5 variant of coronavirus – 01/05/2023 – Equilíbrio e Saúde

The first case of XBB.1.5 variant of coronavirusconsidered the most transmissible to date by Who is the (WHO), in a sample of the virus in São Paulo.

The sample, collected on November 9 from a 54-year-old patient in Indaiatuba (103 kilometers from the capital), was sequenced by Dasa Integrated Health Network this Wednesday (4).

This was the only identified case out of a total of 1,330 cases serial samples In the month of November, including the 33rd of Omicron underline XBB.

According to Jose Eduardo Levy, the virologist in charge of the network’s genetic surveillance project, despite it being the only case identified, it likely has already spread in the state. “The sample was collected in November and now we can only identify it, so it’s likely that there was really an increase because the circulation [das variantes] It changes very quickly with an omicron underline.”

Dasa said it has already reported strain identification to the Sao Paulo state health department. Levy said the lab has a test that helps identify certain omicron strains through a verification technique protein genes s (used by the virus to enter cells) which are omitted in these variants.

“Before, we had 100% association of samples with this change that was later confirmed in genetic sequencing as BA.5. [variante que possui essa alteração]. On the other hand, there is no such change in the XBB, and we saw that 20% to 30% of the samples from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in December showed no change,” he said.

Also according to the virologist, there has been no significant increase in the rate of positive results or in the total number of tests carried out in the past week, but this may change in the next two weeks, when the cases end. of the year may arise.

XBB.1.5 is a file A variable consisting of a combination of the two Confirms BS 2. It carries a mutation that makes its attachment to human cells more efficient, making reproduction faster. Therefore, its presence in places like the United States is already dominant compared to others Less transmissible strains (More than 40% of the samples are from XBB.1.5).

According to the World Health Organization, it has already been identified in 29 countries, but data is likely to be underreported due to difficult sequencing and low testing worldwide.

Last Wednesday (4), the epidemiologist and responsible for the Covid group at the entity, Maria Van Kerkhove, said that XBB.1.5 sparks Warns of the possibility of a new global wave.

“The more circular this variant is, the greater the chances of it changing, and with that we expect new waves of infection worldwide, although we still have no indication of the potential severity or the clinical picture,” he said.