‘C.1.2’: New Variant of Sars-CoV-2 Detected in South Africa

Story Highlights
  • South African scientists detect new variant of Interest for COVID-19.
  • C.1.2. Variant- first identified in May in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
  • Believed to have evolve from C.1, one of the lineages predominant during first outbreak.

South Africa: In a recent development of COVID-19, South Africa has detected a potential variant of interest. Scientists from the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of South Africa first spotted the strain in May 2021 during the third wave of COVID in the country. 

The so-called C.1.2. variant was first identified in May in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, where Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, are situated, the scientists said in a research paper. It’s since been found in seven other countries in Africa, Oceania, Asia and Europe.

The variant is believed to have evolved from C.1, one of the lineages predominant during the first outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa. According to the study’s abstract C.1.2 is associated with reduced neutralization sensitivity, as well as having increased transmissibility. The authors of the research termed this rise as being “similar” to the increases observed with the Beta and Delta variants in South Africa during the early stages of their detection.

Since then, the variant has also been located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, China, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland, the researchers claimed, adding that C.1.2 has more mutations than other variants of concern (VoC) and variants of interest (VoI) which have been detected globally till now.

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