Delta Plus variant: One case in Mysuru

Updated - June 24, 2021 12:26 pm IST

Published - June 22, 2021 11:26 pm IST - Bengaluru/Mysuru

One case of Delta Plus variant was reported on June 2 from Mysuru, confirmed V. Ravi, nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka.

“The sample was collected in May and sent to the genome sequencing lab in NIMHANS from Mysuru. The variant was not named Delta Plus then. The male patient was asymptomatic and had not been vaccinated. We have been told that he is doing fine now,” said Dr. Ravi.

That apart, a sample from Tamil Nadu tested at the NCBS/in-STEM genome sequencing lab in Bengaluru has reported a Delta Plus case, he said. The highly contagious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has mutated further to form the ‘Delta Plus’ or ‘AY.1’ variant. The new Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave.

“There is an extra mutation in the spike protein in this variant. We still do not know if it is more contagious than the other variants. The only difference noted is that Delta Plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19 recently authorised in India,” Dr. Ravi added.

Meanwhile, health officials in Mysuru maintain that they have no information about samples of COVID-19 positive patients from Mysuru showing any mutant variants. However, Mysuru district health officer K.H. Prasad sought to play down the genomic confirmation as the sample had been collected in May and there was no need to panic.

However, Head of Community Medicine, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) Dr Mudassir Azeez Khan, who had suspected the Delta variant to be responsible for the high rate of transmission in Mysuru, described Delta plus as just “one more variant of Delta”. While Delta has already been declared as a “variant of concern”, Delta Plus is still a “variant of interest”, he said.

Dr Khan said there was no need to worry about Delta plus as it was considered to be a milder form. “It is Delta virus, which is more important epidemiologically speaking. It is predominant around the world. It has been found in more than 80 countries including India”, he said.

It may mentioned here that Dean and Director of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) Dr Nanjaraj said a total of 40 samples of COVID-19 positive patients from Mysuru and three neighbouring districts of Mandya, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar had been sent to the genome sequencing laboratory in NIMHANS, Bengaluru and the results were awaited.

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