Literature Spotlight : SARS-CoV-2 genotyping assists in rapid detection of vaccine-escape variants
A study by Luke B Snell and colleagues has identified two cases of a potential vaccine escape variant through the use of rapid genome sequencing and PCR genotyping of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases at three London hospitals.
In the correspondence published in The Lancet, AusDiagnostics SARS-CoV-2 Typing 16-well panel (Ref 20082) on the Highplex system was used for SARS-CoV-2 genotyping of positive patient samples. Non-typeable cases were subjected to genomic sequencing.
- Two cases of a potential vaccine-escape variant from the B.1.621 (Mu) lineage was detected.
- R346K, E484K, P681H spike mutations are associated with reduced neutralisation by antibodies.
- K417N spike mutation is associated with vaccine escape in the B.1.351 (Beta) variant.
- Although the Delta variant accounts for 99% of cases in the community in the UK, the findings suggest that the identified variant in the two cases may have the potential to escape vaccination.
- Using rapid workflows [such as SARS-CoV-2 PCR genotyping and rapid genome sequencing] close to testing facilities could improve public health surveillance efforts and expedite identification of new variants.
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