New coronavirus variant found in Texas

Researchers at Texas A&M University in College Station have identified a new coronavirus variant, according to an April 19 news release.

The variant BV-1, named for the Brazos Valley in Texas, was discovered in a Texas A&M student. The student was diagnosed with COVID-19 March 5 and experienced mild respiratory symptoms.  

The variant has only been identified in the one individual thus far.  

"We do not at present know the full significance of this variant, but it has a combination of mutations similar to other internationally notifiable variants of concern," said Ben Neuman, PhD, professor and virologist at Texas A&M. "This variant combines genetic markers separately associated with rapid spread, severe disease and high resistance to neutralizing antibodies."

"We have not grown or tested this virus in any way," Dr. Neuman added. "This announcement is based purely on the genetic sequence analysis done in the lab."

The variant BV-1 is related to the variant B.1.1.7, first identified in the U. K. 


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