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New coronavirus strain has not reached Serbia yet: 3rd peak samples currently analyzed for mutations

The processing of new samples from the third peak of the epidemic is in progress, where the analysis will look for the presence of mutations similar to the strain from England, say doctors Vidanovic and Knezevic

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foto Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

The new British strain of coronavirus has not yet been found in Serbia, and our researchers are sequencing the genome of the virus from the third peak in search of mutations characteristic of that strain.

So far, the main imports of the coronavirus infection into Serbia have been from Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Austria.

Dr. Dejan Vidanovic, senior research associate at the Veterinary Specialist Institute Kraljevo and Professor Dr. Aleksandra Knezevic from the Medical Faculty in Belgrade, who are working on researching coronavirus strains in Serbia, say that "11 samples from the third peak have been sampled, and the first results do not show that it was a different strain of the virus compared to previous periods of the epidemic."

"New samples from the third peak are being processed, in which the presence of mutations characteristic of the British strain will be analyzed for. It is assumed that this strain of virus spreads faster, and strains with the same mutations have been confirmed in Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Italy. So far, there is no evidence that this strain causes a more severe clinical picture, and that vaccines do not have a protective effect against it. And it will be known very soon whether the vaccine is effective against this strain, because half a million people have already been vaccinated in Britain," these experts explain and add that a mutation in the place in the protein responsible for its binding to human cells had been observed in Serbia already in the first wave, that it exists in most viruses circulating in Europe and that it has no effect on the effectiveness of the immune response to the virus after vaccination.

So far, as the daily Kurir writes, they processed 150 samples of the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome from the first two peaks of the epidemic, from March until August, and the samples came from western and southern Serbia and Vojvodina (north).

"We have at least five independent virus imports to Serbia, from Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Austria," the researchers concluded and added that between four and 22 mutations have been found in different viruses.


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