One was identified new variant of coronavirus also present in Italy: it is the strain Mexican. The discovery was made thanks to researchers from the Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology of the University of Bologna who identified the T478K mutation of the Spike protein.
At the moment this strain is responsible for more than half of the infections in Mexico, while in Europe, in addition to the Italian cases, a hundred infections have been identified in Germany, Switzerland e Denmark. But let’s see what we know so far about this new mutation.
Discovered a new Mexican variant
To the long list of coronavirus variants is now added the Mexican one, whose mutation, as in the strains of greatest concern, is located in the binding domain (RBD) of the Spike protein with the human ACE2 receptor, i.e. in the area that the virus uses to infect the human organism.
At present the new Mexican strain B.1.1.519 has been classified as “variant under observation” by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and was detailed in a study published in the Journal of Medical Virology. This strain has elements in common with the Indian variant B.1.617.2, now renamed Delta by the World Health Organization.
The researchers pointed out that in recent weeks the new Mexican variant is managed to spread very quickly among the North American population and especially among the inhabitants of Mexico: “This is a growth that has speeds similar to that of the more famous English variant”, added Federico Manuel Giorgi, professor of the Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology of the University of Bologna and author of the study.
The cases reported in Italy
The researchers were able to identify the new strain starting from the analysis of all the genomic sequences of Sars-Cov-2 available on international databases and analyzing almost 1.2 million samples, of which 11,435 attributable to the new variant with the T478K mutation. In addition to Mexico, the new variant also managed to reach the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, as well as theItaly, where they were detected four cases.
What concerns the experts at the moment is the T478K mutation similar to that of the Indian strain, since it can be associated with a greater transmissibility of the pathogen as well as a greater ability to evade induced antibodies vaccination or previous infections of other strains.