- Nasal/throat swabs from overseas travellers from the United Kingdom and Brazil were used to isolate the variation.
- The isolate’s pathogenicity was tested in a Syrian hamster model and compared with B.1 variant.
- The research was carried out in Vero CCL81 cells, with next-generation sequencing used to characterise the genome.
Through genome sequencing at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, a new variation of coronavirus B.188.8.131.52 has been identified in India. International tourists from Brazil and the United Kingdom provided nasal and throat swabs, which were used to isolate the variant. In a Syrian hamster model, the isolate’s pathogenicity was examined and compared to that of the B.1 variant.
In comparison to the D614G variant (B.1), the novel variant produced body weight loss, viral multiplication in the respiratory tract, lung lesions, and severe lung pathology in Syrian hamsters.
Nine Syrian hamsters were used in the experiment, which lasted about seven days. The research was carried out in Vero CCL81 cells, with next-generation sequencing used to characterise the genome.
The new variant, according to experts, is identical to the Delta variant and may be more harmful than the Alpha type.
The B.184.108.40.206 infected hamsters’ sera effectively neutralised the D614G variant virus, whereas the D614G variant infected hamsters’ sera with the B.220.127.116.11 showed a 6-fold drop in neutralisation.
According to the findings of the research, “In comparison to the B.1 lineage variant, the B.18.104.22.168 variant was found to be more harmful in hamsters, causing severe pneumonia. Infected hamster sera with the B.1 type had lower neutralisation against B.22.214.171.124. The study emphasises the importance of genomic surveillance and characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 variants in order to better understand pathogenicity and immune escape potential in order to be prepared.”