In-Flight Transmission of a SARS-CoV-2 Lineage B.1.617.2 Harbouring the Rare S:E484Q Immune Escape Mutation.

Martinell M, Andersson T, Mannsverk SS, Bergholm J, Ellström P, Hill A, Lindh J, Kaden R

Viruses 14 (3) - [2022-02-28; online 2022-02-28]

We describe a flight-associated infection scenario of seven individuals with a B.1.617.2 (Delta) lineage, harbouring an S:E484Q point mutation. In Sweden, at least 10% of all positive SARS-CoV-2 samples were sequenced in each county; the B.1.717.2 + S:E484Q combination was not detected in Sweden before and was imported within the scenario described in this report. The high transmission rate of the delta lineage combined with the S:E484Q mutation, associated with immune escape in other lineages, makes this specific genetic combination a possible threat to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Even within the Omicron wave, the B.1.617.2 + S:E484Q variant appeared in community samples in Sweden, as it seems that this combination has an evolutionary gain compared to other B.1.617.2 lineages. The here described genomic combination was not detectable with the common fasta file-based Pango-lineage analysis, hence increasing the probability of the true global prevalence to be higher.

Clinical Genomics Uppsala [Collaborative]

PubMed 35336908

DOI 10.3390/v14030504

Crossref 10.3390/v14030504

pmc: PMC8953675
pii: v14030504

Publications 9.5.0