'Delta sub-lineage AY.12 seen in many states': Insacog warns in latest bulletin
AY.12 is believed to be behind the fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in Israel.
The Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) has said in its latest bulletin that AY.12, a sub-lineage of the Delta variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, has been seen in many states in the country, according to news agency PTI. This sub-lineage is believed to have caused the recent surge in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Israel.
“Delta is the major variant of concern in India at this time. AY.12, a reassigned sub-lineage of Delta, is being seen in many states, though the numbers need closer examination,” the bulletin, dated August 23, read. It added that at a molecular level, both Delta and AY.12 appear to be very similar despite the functional impact of changes between the two not being known.
The bulletin also described AY.12 as the dominant lineage in Israel. “The rapid growth in Israel of AY.12, which is one of the reclassified Delta sub-lineages, means that it should be examined further,” it said. Additionally, the document noted that this sub-lineage does not have some of the mutations seen in the Delta parent lineage, such as G142D in spike protein.
However, it is the Delta variant, which, the bulletin said, remains dominant and is causing fresh Covid-19 infections in several countries. “Delta continues to expand around the world. Despite 60 per cent of its population being fully vaccinated, Israel’s new cases are rising to near previous highs,” it said.
Delta, which was first found in India, being detected here in October last year, led to the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, which was at its peak in April and May. The second wave has since receded, with daily numbers oscillating between 25,000 and 40,000.
Insacog, a consortium of 28 national laboratories, was set up in December 2020 to monitor the genomic variations in Sars-CoV-2, the Covid-19 causing virus. A pan-India network, it functions under the Union health ministry.