July 2, 2022
UFMG CT vaccines detect mu variant faster and cheaper

UFMG CT vaccines detect mu variant faster and cheaper

The Sanger method enables sequencing of small pieces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, where the mutations are

The mu variant (B.1.621) of the coronavirus, which was discovered in Colombia earlier this year, was first detected in Minas Gerais using the Sanger method, while analyzing five patient samples in the municipality of Virginopolis, in the Rio Valley Suite, Made by the Vaccine Technology Center (CT Vaccines) at UFMG.

The Sanger method, recently proposed by CT vaccines for genetic monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 cases, used to analyze materials sent by the Minas Gerais State Health Department (SES-MG) and Ezequiel Dias (Funed), it is possible to sequence small pieces of the virus genome, Where are the mutations.

Because it focuses on very small amounts of genetic material, Sanger is simpler, faster, and cheaper. Many labs are capable of sequencing, unlike in the NGS method (New generation sequencing), which describes the entire genome,” explains virologist and Professor Flávio da Fonseca, one of the coordinators of CT Vacinas.

Analyzes with Sanger take 48 to 72 hours to complete. According to Fonseca, the result of sequencing performed in CT using the Sanger method was confirmed by the Laboratory of Integrative Biology, of the Institute of Biological Sciences (ICB) at UFMG, which uses NGS.

The results of CT Vacinas, in partnership with a group from the University of São Paulo (USP), regarding the application of Sanger in coronavirus surveillance have already been published in an article in preprint format and are peer-reviewed for publication soon, by an international specialist journal.

CT Vacinas researchers found a mutation in samples from Virginopolis that did not match the gamma and delta variants. They then turned to the global database of Sars-CoV-2 and found it to be the mu variant. This new version of the virus has already been detected in other Brazilian states, such as Mato Grosso.

There is still no evidence that the mu variant is more transmissible or causes more serious diseases than strains such as delta and gamma. Mu has also been discovered in the municipalities of Guanhuis and Brañas, both also in the Virginopolis region. Two cases of Braúnas were identified by the ICB’s Integrative Biology Laboratory.