To better track variants, France is revamping its surveillance strategy

To better track variants, France is revamping its surveillance strategy

If the news is good in the face of the Kovid-19 epidemic, it is still in decline, and so is it Vaccination exceeds 30 million first vaccinations in France this weekend, The The new variant B.1.617.2, baptized by the World Health Organization (WHO), is recovering from the crisis. “We are not protected, there is still a risk”, Daniel Levi-Bruel, head of the respiratory infection unit at the public health agency (SPF), the health care agency, said on Friday, June 11th. “Unstable situation” In France.

The Delta variant is more contagious than its predecessor, the Alpha variant, which, according to the British, caused an increase of about 60%, but mainly in the United Kingdom, which tripled in three weeks, reaching about 8 000 cases by Friday, June 11th. It already exists in France This will lead to a slight increase in cases in Portugal between our border neighbors Spain, Germany and Belgium.

Read this too Worldwide Kovid-19: British health officials say Delta variant has 60% more contagion than its predecessor

To counter this, the SPF decided to expedite the implementation of a new variant surveillance strategy, one of the weak points of the French system.

From Monday, June 14, the test results will exclude references to the “English” and “South African” variants or to B.1.1.7, B.1.351, or Alpha and Beta, respectively. Pave the way for three mutations, E484K, E484Q and L452R. These “registrations” correspond to the position of the amino acids, the molecules that make up the proteins, within the portal of the virus that enters the host, the spike. The letters indicate the name of the modified amino acid. From now on, we know if a virus carries one of its three mutations, called a screening test, which is the second PCR test, if the first is positive. This screening already existed, but chemical reactors based on it were used to detect a variant rather than a mutation.

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Accelerate genomic monitoring of infectious disease

This modification offers several advantages. First, it fixes one of the shortcomings of the previous screening, which is the inability to cope with the arrival of variants, the incomprehensible number, five “worried” variants, and ten “to follow” or evaluation course. Moreover, the method used so far does not distinguish a beta from gamma (so-called “Brazilian”). In the current context of the emergence of the Delta variant, technology has classified it as “lacking variant”, similar to the original Chinese pressure of the Kovid-19. In the final SPF score, in the first week of June, 19% of positive cases were non-alpha, beta and gamma.

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