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Find out which Covid-19 strain is most common in Brazil Health

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The Fiocruz Genomic Network released new data this Friday on the strains and variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in Brazil. The results show that the most common variants in the country are BA.1.1, BA.1.14, BA.1 and BA.1.15. But there is also a record of Ômicron recombinant BA.1 and BA.2 (XE, XQ) and Ômicron recombinant with Delta (XS and XF).

Researchers emphasize that the pandemic is not yet over and warn that nationwide genomic surveillance must continue to act in a homogeneous manner, making it possible to detect variants that may appear. There are currently around 100 BA strains worldwide.

As in other countries, a trend towards an increase in the frequency of BA.2 is observed in Brazil, especially in the Southern region.

The data is calculated weekly by the Fiocruz Genomic Network, and EpiCoV data is obtained from GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing All Grip Data), an international platform for sharing genomic data on Influenza and Sars-CoV-2 viruses. The data refer to the period from April 15 to May 5.

The published data also show that Fiocruz Genomic Network, to date, has produced and sent 654 reports to state monitoring and laboratories, with a total of 41,638 genomes.

Of these, 40,203 genomes were deposited in the GISAID EpiCoV database by eight sequence units operating in Fiocruz. In the past three weeks (up to May 5), Foundation units have produced 604 genomes.

The researchers point out that viral recombination is a rare occurrence, occurring when two Sars-CoV-2 strains infect the same patient.

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During the process of viral replication, the origin of hybrid (recombinant) strains can occur, which can be transmitted to the population. Although rare, this has happened a few times in the evolutionary history of coronavirus and therefore deserves close monitoring.

However, discerning between recombination and coinfection events in sequence data is not a trivial task. Therefore, Fiocruz Genomic Network recently developed a software called ViralFlow, which produces results that can help them discern between recombination and coinfection.

Through the use of this pipeline, the Network has created recommendations to obtain complementary evidence of these events. These recommendations were presented to the Technical Group on Viral Evolution in the World Health Organization (WHO) by researcher at Fiocruz Pernambuco Gabriel Wallau.

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