Covid-19, a new variant never before described in Italy found in Campania: watch out for B.1.525

Covid-19 variant B.1.525 discovered in Campania, Italy: so far only 32 cases have been detected in the UK and a few cases in Nigeria, Denmark and the US

Another Covid-19 variant never before detected in Italy is discovered in Campania, Italy: B.1.525

A professional returning from a trip to Africa has tested positive for Covid-19.

Thanks to collaboration between the laboratories of the Federico II University in Naples and the Pascale Institute, Giuseppe Portella of the Federico II identified the highly suspicious case and Nicola Normanno’s team at the Pascale discovered a Covid variant never before described in Italy.

This variant’s power of infection and other characteristics are not yet known, as is the case with many rare variants of the virus.

It is called B.1.525. So far, only 32 cases have been detected in Great Britain and a few cases in Nigeria, Denmark and the USA.

COVID-19 variant B.1.525 is similar to English B117

The new mutation is similar to the English B117 variant and contains a number of mutations that are causing alarm among experts, including the E484K mutation on the Spike protein, which is located on the outside of the virus and plays an important role in the virus entering cells.

This mutation has also been found in the South African and Brazilian variants.

Possible negative responses to the antibody action of vaccines are being investigated.

“The sequence of the sample that came to us from the Policlinico Federiciano – explains the researcher of the Institute of Tumours of Naples Normanno – we were immediately suspicious because it did not present similarities with other samples from our region.

After a comparison with the group of the Emerging Zoonosis Department of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, we were able to confirm that it is a variant described so far in a hundred cases in some European and African countries, but also in the United States.

We immediately deposited the sequence in the international Gisaid database and alerted the health authorities’.


“It is necessary for the government to adopt extraordinary national measures to avoid thwarting the vaccination programme, which is fully underway, and which makes the supply of the vaccines needed to tackle the epidemic all the more essential”.

This is what Vincenzo De Luca, President of the Campania Region, said after the discovery of a new variant of the virus identified in the region.

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Agenzia Dire

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