A new variant of the coronavirus discovered in Belgium

It represents 4% of infections in Belgium, approximately as much as the South African and Brazilian variants. Researchers from ULiège and KU Leuven are monitoring the situation closely, according to the newspaper.

The new “Spike Insertion” variant has been unearthed in a ULiège laboratory, according to the daily. It was discovered for the first time in Liège last January. “It is our researcher Keith Durkin who identified this variant within the framework of the national program of genomic surveillance of the virus which was launched at the end of December in our country”, indicated the professor of human genetics and in charge of the laboratory of analysis and for sequencing the Sars-Cov-2 virus from ULiège, Vincent Bours.

“This variant caught our attention because it had a mutation that has never been seen before,” he explains.

The variant discovered in Belgium is not currently classified as variants of concern (VOC), but it is arousing the interest of scientists because of its unique mutation.

“For the moment, the viruses of a hundred patients with this variant have been sequenced, it will take much more to know its effects. But, we see that it is gradually increasing in Belgium, particularly on the Brussels side. , Flemish Brabant and Hainaut. But we are practically certain that it is not a Belgian strain. The phylogenetic tree has yet to be completed but it could come from sub-Saharan Africa and would have been established here by travel “, Mr. Bours said.

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