New Covid-19 variant ‘IHU’

Scientists in France have identified a new and more mutated strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing covid-19 disease.


  • New virus was identified, when the world is still grappling with highly mutated strain of coronavirus, called Omicron.
  • Omicron has already been leading to surge in covid-19 cases worldwide.
  • First case with new variant was detected in December, 2021.

IHU- New covid variant

New variant of the coronavirus has been named IHU or the B.1.640.2 variant. It was discovered by the academics at institute IHU Mediterranee Infection. It comprises of 46 mutations, more than Omicron, making it more resistant to vaccines and infectious.

Cases so far

So far, 12 cases of the new variant have been reported near Marseilles. Cases are linked to travel to the African country Cameroon. Omicron variant is still the dominant strain in most of the countries. But the threat of IHU variant is rising rapidly. New variant has not been spotted in other countries and World Health Organisation (WHO) has not yet labelled it as a variant under investigation.

Genotype Pattern

The new variant comprises of 14 amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K. Apart from that, 9 deletions are located in the spike protein. This genotype pattern led to creation of new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2. it is a phylogenetic sister group to the old B.1.640 lineage.



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