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SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.526 emerging in the New York region detected by software utility created to query the spike mutational landscape

By Anthony P. West, Christopher O Barnes, Zhi Yang, Pamela Bjorkman

Posted 15 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.14.431043

Wide-scale SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing is critical to monitoring and understanding viral evolution during the ongoing pandemic. Variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil have spread to multiple countries. We have developed a software tool, Variant Database (VDB), for quickly examining the changing landscape of spike mutations. Using this tool, we detected an emerging lineage of viral isolates 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 appeared in late November 2020, and isolates from this lineage account for ~25% of coronavirus genomes sequenced and deposited from New York during February 2021.

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