Scientists Finds UK’s Mutant Variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria

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Scientists at the Redeemer’s University, Nigeria, say they have found the United Kingdom’s ‘lineage B.1.1.7,’ a mutant variant of the COVID-19 global pandemic, in Nigeria.

They reported that the ‘lineage B.1.1.7’ mutant variant of the coronavirus had been existing in Osun State since August 3, 2020, when they obtained the first sample.

They also reported the collection of another sample from the state in October, and it also showed the presence of this new variant.

The ‘lineage B.1.1.7’ variant of COVID-19 has recently become a source of concern in the United Kingdom, leading to another round of lockdown, PUNCH Health Wise reports.

The RUN study, first published last September 6 in The Conversation, a copyright-free news channel, stated that genome sequencing helped researchers to understand the virus, its epidemiology and evolution.

More recently, the finding was also published online in peer-reviewed Journal of Virological Methods on Monday, December 21, and titled, ‘Detection of the New Emergent SARS-CoV-2 Variant in Nigeria.

Two scientists at Ede, Osun State-based RUN — Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics, Christian Happi; and Ify Aniebo — carried out the study.

The researchers are of the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the RUN’s Ede campus.

They worked in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and had reported 24 additional genome sequences of the COVID-19 from Nigeria.

Last week, the UK had reported a more virulent strain of COVID-19, with the potential to infect by 70 per cent.

The B.1.1.7 variant of the virus, thought to be a mutation associated with higher transmission and pathogenicity, is the latest scourge in the United Kingdom and has made the British government declare another lockdown to check its spread.

A handful of countries have also banned flights from the UK to prevent its importation into their countries.

Culled from Punch

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