Comparative Analysis of Emerging B.1.1.7+E484K SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Pennsylvania.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ahmed M MoustafaPaul J Planet

Abstract

Rapid whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has presented the ability to detect new emerging variants of concern in near real time. Here we report the genome of a virus isolated in Pennsylvania in March 2021 that was identified as lineage B.1.1.7 (VOC-202012/01) that also harbors the E484K spike mutation, which has been shown to promote "escape" from neutralizing antibodies in vitro . We compare this sequence to the only 5 other B.1.1.7+E484K genomes from Pennsylvania, all of which were isolated in mid March. Beginning in February 2021, only a small number (n=60) of isolates with this profile have been detected in the US, and only a total of 253 have been reported globally (first in the UK in December 2020). Comparative genomics of all currently available high coverage B.1.1.7+E484K genomes (n=235) available on GISAID suggested the existence of 7 distinct groups or clonal complexes (CC; as defined by GNUVID) bearing the E484K mutation raising the possibility of 7 independent acquisitions of the E484K spike mutation in each background. Phylogenetic analysis suggested the presence of at least 3 distinct clades of B.1.1.7+E484K circulating in the US, with the Pennsylvanian isolates belonging to two distinct clades. Increased genom...Continue Reading

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