Fiocruz Pernambuco identifies new Covid-19 variant - Fiotec

The SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Surveillance Front of the Aggeu Magalhães Institute (IAM/Fiocruz Pernambuco) has identified a new strain of Covid-19 circulating in the state, JN.1, and known as Pirola. Identification took place through genome sequencing, with samples from patients sent by the Central Laboratory of Pernambuco (Lacen/PE) from the cities of Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Olinda, Ouricuri, Paulista, Recife, and Salgueiro.

According to researcher Marcelo Paiva, the presence of the variant is yet another sign of the upward trend in the number of cases being observed in the state. "We received a set of samples from Lacen/PE and when we processed it, we identified the circulation of a new strain, a sub-variant of Omicron known as Pirola, which is circulating here in the state. This variant is associated with the increase in the number of cases being observed not only in this region but also in other states," he said. 

A total of 46 samples were processed for sequencing, from which it was possible to obtain 30 genomes with a quality of over 90% coverage. Of these 30 genomes, all were identified as being from the Omicron strain and sublineages (B.1.1.529-like and BA-like). Among these, 1 genome was detected belonging to the JN.1 strain also known as Pirola, which has been causing a significant increase in cases in the state of Ceará. This is the first detection of this strain in the state of Pernambuco. 

The data in hand is computed weekly on the platform of the Fiocruz Genomic Network to form a panorama of the circulation of the strains throughout Brazil.

Source: Fiocruz News Agency (AFN).