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Selected Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Interest+
Name
(Pango
lineage
external icon
)a
Spike Protein Substitutions Name
(Nextstrainexternal iconexternal icon)b
First Detected BEIexternal icon Reference Isolatec

Attributes

B.1.526 Spike: (L5F*), T95I, D253G, (S477N*), (E484K*), D614G, (A701V*) 20C/S:484K United States (New York) – November 2020
  • Reduced susceptibility to the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab monoclonal antibody treatment; however, the clinical implications of this are not known.7 Alternative monoclonal antibody treatments are available.14
  • Reduced neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 22, 24
B.1.526.1 Spike: D80G, Δ144, F157S, L452R, D614G, (T791I*), (T859N*), D950H 20C United States (New York) – October 2020
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera22
B.1.525 Spike: A67V, Δ69/70, Δ144, E484K, D614G, Q677H, F888L 20A/S:484K United Kingdom/Nigeria – December 2020
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 22
P.2 Spike: E484K, (F565L*), D614G, V1176F 20J Brazil – April 2020
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Reduced neutralization by post-vaccination sera 22, 23

 

B.1.617 Spike: L452R, E484Q, D614G 20A India – February 2021
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Slightly reduced neutralization by post-vaccination sera 25, 26
B.1.617.1 Spike: (T95I), G142D, E154K, L452R, E484Q, D614G, P681R, Q1071H 20A/S:154K India – December 2020
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera 26
B.1.617.2 Spike: T19R, (G142D), Δ156, Δ157, R158G, L452R, T478K, D614G, P681R, D950N 20A/S:478K India – December 2020
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera 21 
B.1.617.3 Spike: T19R, G142D, L452R, E484Q, D614G, P681R, D950N 20A India – October 2020
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7, 14
  • Potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera 26

(*) = detected in some sequences but not all

+These variants share one specific mutation called D614G. This mutation was one of the first documented in the US in the initial stages of the pandemic, after having initially circulated in Europe[13]. There is evidence that variants with this mutation spread more quickly than viruses without this mutation [12].

a – Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (PANGO) Lineages is software tool developed by members of the Rambaut Lab. The associated web application was developed by the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance in South Cambridgeshire and is intended to implement the dynamic nomenclature of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, known as the PANGO nomenclature.

b – Nextstrain, a collaboration between researchers in Seattle, USA and Basel, Switzerland, provides open-source tools for visualizing the genetics of outbreaks. The goal is to support public health surveillance by facilitating understanding of the spread and evolution of pathogens.

c – The Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources (BEI Resources) is a NIAID-funded repository to provide reagents, tools, and information to the research community. The reference viruses proposed here facilitate the harmonization of information among all stakeholders in the COVID-19 pandemic research community. Please note that the reference viruses provided in the tables below are based on what is currently available through the BEI Resources.

Variant of Concern

A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g.,  increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.

Possible attributes of a variant of concern:

In addition to the possible attributes of a variant of interest

  • Evidence of impact on diagnostics, treatments, or vaccines
    • Widespread interference with diagnostic test targets
    • Evidence of substantially decreased susceptibility to one or more class of therapies
    • Evidence of significant decreased neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination
    • Evidence of reduced vaccine-induced protection from severe disease
  • Evidence of increased transmissibility
  • Evidence of increased disease severity

Variants of concern might require one or more appropriate public health actions, such as notification to WHO under the International Health Regulations, reporting to CDC, local or regional efforts to control spread, increased testing, or research to determine the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments against the variant. Based on the characteristics of the variant, additional considerations may include the development of new diagnostics or the modification of vaccines or treatments.

Current variants of concern in the United States that are being closely monitored and characterized by federal agencies are included in the table below. The table will be updated when a new variant of concern is identified.

Selected Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern+
Name
(Pango
lineage
external icon
)a
Spike Protein Substitutions Name
(Nextstrainexternal iconexternal icon)b
First Detected BEIexternal icon Reference Isolatec

Attributesd

B.1.1.7 Δ69/70, Δ144, (E484K*), (S494P*), N501Y, A570D, D614G, P681H, T716I, S982A, D1118H (K1191N*) 20I/501Y.V1 United Kingdom NR-54000external icon
  • ~50% increased transmission 5
  • Potential increased severity based on hospitalizations and case fatality rates 6
  • No impact on susceptibility to EUA monoclonal antibody treatments 7,14
  • Minimal impact on neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 8,9,10,11,12,13,19
P.1 L18F, T20N, P26S, D138Y, R190S, K417T, E484K, N501Y, D614G, H655Y, T1027I 20J/501Y.V3 Japan/
Brazil
NR-54982external icon
  • Significant decrease in susceptibility to the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab monoclonal antibody treatment,7 but other EUA monoclonal antibody treatments are available 14
  • Reduced neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 15
B.1.351 D80A, D215G, Δ241/242/243, K417N, E484K, N501Y, D614G, A701V 20H/501.V2 South Africa NR-54009external icon
  • ~50% increased transmission16
  • Significant decrease in susceptibility to the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab monoclonal antibody treatment,7 but other EUA monoclonal antibody treatments are available 14
  • Reduced neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 8,12,18,19,20
B.1.427 L452R, D614G 20C/S:452R United States-(California)
  • ~20% increased transmissibility 21
  • Modest decrease in susceptibility to the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab; however, the clinical implications of this decrease are not known.7 Alternative monoclonal antibody treatments are available.14
  • Reduced neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 21
B.1.429 S13I, W152C, L452R, D614G 20C/S:452R United States-(California)
  • ~20% increased transmissibility 21
  • Modest decrease in susceptibility to the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab; however, the clinical implications of this decrease are not known.7 Alternative monoclonal antibody treatments are available.14
  • Reduced neutralization by convalescent and post-vaccination sera 21

(*) = detected in some sequences but not all
+These variants share one specific mutation called D614G. This mutation was one of the first documented in the US in the initial stages of the pandemic, after having initially circulated in Europe[13]. There is evidence that variants with this mutation spread more quickly than viruses without this mutation [12].

a – Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (PANGO) Lineages is software tool developed by members of the Rambaut Lab. The associated web application was developed by the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance in South Cambridgeshire and is intended to implement the dynamic nomenclature of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, known as the PANGO nomenclature.

b – Nextstrain, a collaboration between researchers in Seattle, USA and Basel, Switzerland, provides open-source tools for visualizing the genetics of outbreaks. The goal is to support public health surveillance by facilitating understanding of the spread and evolution of pathogens.

c – The Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources (BEI Resources) is a NIAID-funded repository to provide reagents, tools, and information to the research community. The reference viruses proposed here facilitate the harmonization of information among all stakeholders in the COVID-19 pandemic research community. Please note that the reference viruses provided in the tables below are based on what is currently available through the BEI resources.

d  – Attributes listed are based on data available from pseudoviruses or recombinant viruses containing combinations of substitutions characteristic of specific lineages or from reference virus isolates.

Variant of High Consequence

A variant of high consequence has clear evidence that prevention measures or medical countermeasures (MCMs) have significantly reduced effectiveness relative to previously circulating variants.

Possible attributes of a variant of high consequence:

In addition to the possible attributes of a variant of concern

  • Impact on Medical Countermeasures (MCM)
    • Demonstrated failure of diagnostics
    • Evidence to suggest a significantly reduction in vaccine effectiveness, a disproportionately high number of vaccine breakthrough cases, or very low vaccine-induced protection against severe disease
    • Significantly reduced susceptibility to multiple Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approved therapeutics
    • More severe clinical disease and increased hospitalizations

A variant of high consequence would require notification to WHO under the International Health Regulations, reporting to CDC, an announcement of strategies to prevent or contain transmission, and recommendations to update treatments and vaccines.

Currently there are no SARS-CoV-2 variants that rise to the level of high consequence.

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