NEW DELHI: Indian sequencing data for mutations associated with greater infectivity shows that a mutation was also present in the Kappa lineage of COVID-19 that led to outbreaks in early 2021, especially in Maharashtra, before being displaced by Delta, the INSACOG said.
In its weekly bulletin dated November 15, when concerns about new coronavirus variant Omicron had not surfaced, that was uploaded on its website on Tuesday, the Indian SARS-COV-2 Genomics Consortia said Delta (B.1.617.2 and AY.x) continues to be the main variant of concern (VOC) in India and no new variant of interest or VOC has been noted.
“Analysis of Indian sequencing data for N mutations associated with greater infectivity shows that the N:R203M mutation was also present in the Kappa lineage (B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.3) that led to outbreaks in early 2021, especially in Maharashtra, before being displaced by Delta,” the bulletin said.
“These mutations are not likely to have importance for cross-immunity. Both Covishield and Covaxin have already shown effectiveness against Delta,” it added.
The Kappa variant, which was detected in India in December last year, has been classified as a ‘Variant Under Monitoring’ (VUM) by the World Health Organisation.
The variant was detected among COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala.
The INSACOG reports genomic surveillance of SARS CoV-2 across the country through sequencing of samples from sentinel sites and also detailed state-wise district analysis for some states.
A total of 95,929 samples have been analysed and 1,18,044 samples have been sequenced so far by the INSACOG.