A comment from Dr Jeff Barrett to help shed some light on reports of a ‘Nepal’ variant in the UK.
Dr Jeff Barrett, Director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said:
“There have been 91 sequences observed in the GISAID database of B.1.617.2 / Delta with an additional mutation: K417N. This mutation is present in B.1.351 / Beta, and is believed to be part of why that variant is less well neutralised by vaccines. Because of this possibility, and because Delta appears more transmissible than Beta, scientists are monitoring it carefully.
“This Delta+K417N has been seen in numerous countries, including the UK, Portugal, the USA, and India. It has also been observed once in Nepal (which does very little sequencing), and 14 times in Japan, of which 13 are samples from airport quarantine from travellers from Nepal.”
All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink: