Delta Plus variants less than 1% of coronavirus genomes

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The Delta Plus variants constituted less than 1% of coronavirus samples that were sequenced in India in June and continuing outbreaks in India were primarily being led by the Delta variant, said a report from the India Sarscov2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG).

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) as of Thursday constituted 88% of the nearly 1,300 coronavirus samples genome-sequenced in June, a little more than in May when they made up 87% of the nearly 8,700 samples sequenced. The decline in samples processed in June, a scientist familiar with the sequencing told The Hindu, was because it often took a few weeks before samples for a particular month were processed.

Near zero cases

“Delta sub-lineages AY.1 and AY.2 are declining globally with near zero cases in the last week of June in either the U.K. or the U.S., where they were most frequently seen. They also continue to be below 1% in available sequences from June in India. It is likely that neither AY.1 nor AY.2 is more transmissible than Delta,” the INSACOG noted in a July 9 release that has just been made public.


“Meanwhile AY.3 has been identified as a new Delta sub-lineage. It is primarily seen in the U.S. with single reclassified cases in the U.K. and India. There are no known significant properties of this mutation, but since it is a Delta VOC sub-lineage, INSACOG will continue to monitor it.”

The INSACOG has, as of Thursday, sequenced 42,869 coronavirus genomes from India. The 10-lab consortium primarily tracks international variants of concern (VOC) namely the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta (and their sub-lineages) variants. These are the variants globally monitored for the increased infectivity and resistance to vaccination or treatments.

It also scans for variants of interest (VOI), which have not yet become serious enough to warrant more stringent surveillance.

As of Thursday, 13 States had provided over 1,000 samples to the various INSACOG labs for analysis with Maharashtra having provided the most (7,868) followed by Delhi (5,353) and Kerala (4,721).


The Alpha variant prevalence, the INSACOG said, has declined further in India and globally and Beta too was also “at very low levels” in India. The Gamma and Lambda variants had also not been seen in over 10,000 community samples sequenced by INSACOG since May. “Delta variant and its sub-lineages are the only VOC in India at this time. Continuing outbreaks across India are attributable to Delta, susceptible population and opportunities for transmission. Public health measures to reduce transmission and vaccination remain critical,” their statement noted.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 1:17:22 PM |

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