Detection and characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.526 in New York.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Anthony P WestPamela J Bjorkman

Abstract

Wide-scale SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing is critical to tracking viral evolution during the ongoing pandemic. Variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil have spread to multiple countries. We developed the software tool, Variant Database (VDB), for quickly examining the changing landscape of spike mutations. Using VDB, we detected an emerging lineage of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York region that shares mutations with previously reported variants. The most common sets of spike mutations in this lineage (now designated as B.1.526) are L5F, T95I, D253G, E484K or S477N, D614G, and A701V. This lineage was first sequenced in late November 2020 when it represented <1% of sequenced coronavirus genomes that were collected in New York City (NYC). By February 2021, genomes from this lineage accounted for ~ 32% of 3288 sequenced genomes from NYC specimens. Phylodynamic inference confirmed the rapid growth of the B.1.526 lineage in NYC, notably the sub-clade defined by the spike mutation E484K, which has outpaced the growth of other variants in NYC. Pseudovirus neutralization experiments demonstrated that B.1.526 spike mutations adversely affect the neutralization titer of convalescent and vaccinee plasma, indicating ...Continue Reading

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