Researchers from the University of Liège discovered last January a new mutation of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, responsible for the covid-19, whose effects are still unknown, according to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir on Monday.

The new mutation, known as Spike Insertion (SI) and whose scientific name is B.1.214, is not yet classified as a “worrying variant” (VOC), as is the so-called British variant (B.1.117), the South African variant (B.1.351) and the Brazilian variant (P.1).

Unlike these variants, the mutation discovered in Belgium has been produced through the insertion of nine nucleotides into the protein sequence of the virus, while the previous ones were created by deletions in the genome, as Vicent Bours, head of the Sars virus analysis and sequencing laboratory, explained to Le Soir -Cov-2 at the University of Liège.

However, the researchers stressed that this new variant “does not yet raise any special concern about its dangerousness” and that it is not known whether it offers any advantages to the original virus in terms of transmissibility.

This possible variant already represents 4% of the infections of the observed samples, more or less the same as the South African and Brazilian variants, while the British one currently constitutes between 70 and 75% of the infections in Belgium, according to researchers.

However, “we can see that it is increasing progressively in Belgium, especially in Brussels, Flemish Brabant and Hainaut, but we are almost certain that it is not a Belgian strain”, explained Bours, who commented that this variation “could come from Africa sub-Saharan and would have been implanted in us through travel”.

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