To add to the excitement of your Saturday evening, the focal S:N501 build is now updated with data from 8th Jan, including 48 new seqs in 501Y.V1 (B.1.1.7 #b117) & 501Y.V2.

There are 46 new non-UK sequences in 501Y.V1, from the Netherlands, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the USA, and Luxembourg.
And 2 new non-South African sequences in 501Y.V2, from Australia for the first time.

In 501Y.V1:

Ireland has 4 new sequences (orange). 2 sit separately but are identical, indicating an additional introduction. 2 link to a previous sequence (green), 1 mutation away each. This could indicate location transmission, unsampled diversity, or a common exposure.

The Netherlands has 10 new seqs (orange). Many sit apart on the tree, indicating additional introductions. 3 cluster together separated by a few mutations. 2 are identical to an older seq. 1 falls in a cluster of older seqs. Some of these could indicate local transmission.

Israel has 22 new sequences (orange). 1 links to an older sequence, but is separated by 3 mutations, so may be separate introductions. Another is identical to an older sequence. But most new sequences cluster together (blue), clearly indicating local transmission.

Norway has 3 new sequences (orange). 2 cluster together but differ by 1 mutation, making their relationship hard to confidently infer. The other sits separately and indicates an independent introduction.

Italy has 2 new sequences (orange). Zooming in (divergence view) we can see they are identical (yellow), so are likely a single introduction.

The USA has 2 new sequences, from Connecticut (orange). They sit separately from each other & other USA sequences on the three, indicating independent introductions.

Luxembourg has 2 new sequences (orange). They sit apart on the tree, indicating separate introductions.

Sweden has 1 new sequence (orange). It sits separately, indicating an additional introduction

In 501Y.V2:

Australia has sequences that fall into 501Y.V2 for the first time. Zooming in (divergence), we can see they are identical, indicating one introduction.

As always, the S:N501 "reduced UK" build is updated, & the country-graphs are also updated - remember: many places are preferentially sequencing S:N501 (hot pink), so the frequencies shown may not accurately reflect the true proportion of S:N501!

Finally, the main CoVariants SARS-CoV-2 Variant Tracking page is updated with new links & a new section for S:E484 - but as always, I welcome Pull Requests & Issues in the repository, with papers or online resources I've missed!


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More from @firefoxx66

9 Jan
I'm getting some questions about this, so here you go: We do not have sequence evidence of a new, more transmissible "US variant" - it seems to be a misinterpretation.

Still, more sequencing in the US (& globally) will help us better track existing & emerging #SARSCoV2 variants!
Importantly: you can have spikes & rises in #SARSCoV2 infections without needing a new variant. We can see this clearly in Europe in autumn: we have a good idea of the variants circulating & no new (or old) variant is responsible. It was likely weather-related.
Similarly, season & holiday related changes in travel & behaviour, changing restrictions/mandates, school & university terms, & 'restriction fatigue' - just to name a few - can play a role in #SARSCoV2 case numbers. We can't & shouldn't blame every rise on a new variant.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
A brief update to the focal S:N501 builds to start your Friday off right! This one includes data from 7 Jan 21.

We have about 20 new sequences each in 501Y.V1 (B.1.1.7 #b117) & 501Y.V2.

Let's take a look at the new sequences, starting with 501Y.V1

There are 22 new non-UK sequences in 501Y.V1, including for the first time from Luxembourg (3), & additional seqs from Singapore (1), Australia (4), France (12), & Switzerland (2).

First, Luxembourg has 3 sequences in 501Y.V1 for the first time. Each represents a separate introduction.

Read 14 tweets
7 Jan
Each day brings new challenges, but here's an update to the dedicated S.N501 build, using data from 6 Jan 2021 to keep you going.

There are 42 new non-UK sequences in 501Y.V1 (B.1.1.7) & 7 new non-South-African sequences in 501Y.V2.

There are 42 new non-UK sequences in 501Y.V1 from the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden, Germany, USA, Switzerland, Brazil, and the first sequence from 501Y.V1 in Oman.…

Oman has their first sequence which falls into 501Y.V1:

Read 14 tweets
5 Jan
Following some increased interest tonight in S:E484, a new focal build is now up!

This build is created by pulling out all sequences with a mutation at nucleotide 23012 & adding background sequences.


@jbloom_lab @Tuliodna…
Mutations at nucleotide 23012 causes changes in the amino-acid (AA) at position 484 in Spike. We can see here it changes from E (green) to Q (yellow), K (blue), & R (red).

Changes at position 484 are found most prominently in the 501Y.V2 variant (originating in South Africa), ID by @Tuliodna @rjlessells & team
as well as in a cluster of sequences primarily in Brazil, ID by @atrvlncc & team

Read 8 tweets
5 Jan
The latest focal S:N501 build is now up! It includes data from 4 Jan 2021.

We have new sequences in 501Y.V1/B.1.1.7 from Denmark, Singapore, Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Pakistan & the USA.

Denmark has 43 new sequences (in orange). These indicate additional introductions, as well as further expansion of the existing large local transmission cluster we saw previously (shown in zoomed divergence view).

10 new sequences from Portugal (orange) indicate additional, separate introductions.

Read 12 tweets
4 Jan
European countries have likely bought time by stopping/restricting UK flights to reduce 501Y.V1 (B.1.1.7) import. Vaccine rollouts are progressing, & spring is around the corner.

But what do the next few months have in store? What should we be preparing for? 🗓️🤔

First, some good news: The fact we have a vaccine 💉 is fantastic🎉, & it will make a difference - but we likely won't have enough people vaccinated to really impact transmission levels in the next few months. We must hold fast to other methods until more are vaccinated.😷

More good news: Last spring & summer brought reductions in cases: the virus does seem seasonal.
This means spring🌸& summer🌞2021 should help reduce transmission📉, giving us a great window to scale-up vaccination before autumn🍂 & hopefully a break in strict restrictions.

Read 28 tweets

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