The French Ministry of Health said that eight people with a new variant of the coronavirus have been identified in Brittany. At the same time, the infected have tested negative for Covid-19, despite the presence of typical symptoms.
According to the publication Insider, on this basis, the department concluded that they are dealing with a new strain that is not recognized using a standard examination of a nasal swab.
The publication notes that this is not the first strain that the standard test does not recognize. Last month, Finnish researchers identified a strain called Fin-796H with a mutation that also made nasal swab detection difficult.
The French Ministry of Health worried that the failure to accurately identify infected people could make it difficult to limit the spread of the virus.
Clarified that standard laboratory tests of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) reveal the genetic code in the nasal smear – that is, the RNA of the coronavirus. But the variant found in Brittany has several mutations in the spike protein that help avoid detection with these diagnostic tests.
In the end, infection with the new strain was confirmed either by testing the patients’ blood for antibodies or by RT-PCR testing of sputum samples. But none of these methods are a typical test for Covid-19, suggesting that a new variant could spread unnoticed in France and possibly beyond.
Note that all these concerns look rather strained since it has long been known that tests using nasal swabs are not always guaranteed to determine the coronavirus.
In addition, the well-known European diagnostic company Novacyt Group has already rushed to calm down the alarmed French. As it turns out, her PCR tests can successfully detect the new strain.
Earlier Topnews reported that researchers from Germany and Norway independently determined how the AstraZeneca vaccine can cause blood clotting and blood clots, which have caused deaths after vaccination in Europe.