The Centaur variant has been detected in several countries including Canada

The first case of contamination with BA.2.75 from Omicron, nicknamed “Centaur”, was detected in the Netherlands in a sample dated June 26, announced on Wednesday by the Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

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The “BA.2.75 variant of the coronavirus,” which has already been detected among other places in India, Australia, Japan, Canada, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, “has now also been identified in the Netherlands,” RIVM said. a permit.

The institute explained that “little is known about BA.2.75,” but that it “also appears to be able to more easily circumvent the built-in defense against SARS-CoV-2 through specific small changes.”

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said last week that BA.2.75 was first reported in India and then in a dozen other countries.

She noted that there were still “limited sequences” for the analyses, but noted that the sub variant appeared to contain some “mutations in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein (…) which is a major component virus that binds to the human receptor.

“It’s still too early to know if this subvariable has additional immune evasion properties or is even more clinically severe – we don’t know,” she insisted, while ensuring that the WHO is monitoring the situation.

The sample in question in the Netherlands comes from the province of Gelderland (Northwest), and was taken on June 26, 2022, identified RIVM, which will investigate whether a source search is possible and “follow the situation closely”.

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BA.2.75 was listed on 7 July by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as a ‘controlled variable’.

Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, tweeted in late June that BA.2.75 was “worth watching” because it contained “a lot of severe mutations”, and is a “potential second-generation variant”, with “obvious rapid growth” and “spread wide geography.

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