First case of contamination with Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 nicknamed “a centaur“, was discovered in the Netherlands in a June 26 sample, the Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced on Wednesday.
“BA.2.75 variant of the coronavirus“, already found in India, Australia, Japan, Canada, USA, Germany and the UK, among others, “has now also been identified in the Netherlands“, RIVM said in a press release.Little is known about BA.2.75“, the institute stated, but it”It also appears to be able to more easily bypass the defenses built against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus thanks to a few specific changes“.
Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), said last week that BA.2.75 was first reported in India and then a dozen other countries.
She stated that there is “still limited sequences” analyses, but indicated that the subvariant appears to have some “mutation spike in the receptor-binding domain of the protein (…), which is the main component of the virus that binds to human receptors“.”It is still too early to know whether this subvariant has additional immune evasion properties or is more clinically severe – we do not know.“, she insisted, while assuring that the WHO was monitoring the situation.
The sample in question in the Netherlands comes from the province of Gelderland (in the north-west) and was taken on June 26, 2022, said the RIVM, which will check whether the source can be traced, and “closely monitoring the situation“.
BA.2.75 was listed by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on 7 July as “changes under supervision“.
Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, tweeted in late June that BA.2.75 was worthwhile.worth watching“because it contains”many progressive mutations“, is the “a possible second-generation variant“, With “rapid growth evident” and “wide geographic distribution”.
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