OREANDA-NEWS. In the south of Brazil, doctors have identified a new variant of the coronavirus, the so-called lambda strain SARS-CoV-2. This dangerous variant of the coronavirus has been spreading across Peru and other Latin American countries since the end of 2020. The decoding of the virus genome, as well as the conclusions of the scientists, were published in an article in the electronic library medRxiv.

Researchers report that the World Health Organization in mid-June of this year recognized that a new strain of the lambda variant of the SARS-CoV-2 version was discovered, which entered Brazil from Argentina. According to scientists, the spread of this type of virus can lead to an exacerbation of the epidemiological situation in the country.

The genome of the so-called lambda strain SARS-CoV-2 contains a set of eight key mutations that can increase its infectivity. Before the emergence of the Indian variant of the coronavirus in Peru, the lambda strain accounted for the majority of infections, and in Argentina and Chile, almost thirty percent of all cases of COVID-19 were infected with it.

A group of Brazilian scientists, led by Priscila Wink, a researcher at the Federal University of Rio Grande de Sul in Porto Alegre, discovered a new species of the lambda version of SARS-CoV-2, in which about twenty other changes in the structure of the genome were found that were not typical for most other varieties of the lambda strain of the coronavirus.

At present, according to UINK and her colleagues, it is not yet known how the new mutations in the genome of the virus identified by them affect its behavior in the human body, and at what speed it spreads in the population. Doctors believe that further observations and experiments will make it possible to assess the degree of danger of the lambda strain and compare it with other new variations of the coronavirus.