Preprint Brief Report Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

First Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 Lineage in Italy: Genomic Comparison with Omicron Lineages

Version 1 : Received: 30 April 2022 / Approved: 4 May 2022 / Online: 4 May 2022 (16:06:07 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 5 May 2022 / Approved: 6 May 2022 / Online: 6 May 2022 (11:55:20 CEST)

How to cite: Peronace, C.; Tallerico, R.; Colosimo, M.; De Fazio, M.; Pasceri, F.; Talotta, I.; Panduri, G.; Pintomalli, L.; Oteri, R.; Calantoni, V.; Fiorillo, M.T.; Caroleo, M.C.; Dolce, V.; Cione, E.; Minchella, P. First Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 Lineage in Italy: Genomic Comparison with Omicron Lineages. Preprints 2022, 2022050018 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202205.0018.v1). Peronace, C.; Tallerico, R.; Colosimo, M.; De Fazio, M.; Pasceri, F.; Talotta, I.; Panduri, G.; Pintomalli, L.; Oteri, R.; Calantoni, V.; Fiorillo, M.T.; Caroleo, M.C.; Dolce, V.; Cione, E.; Minchella, P. First Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 Lineage in Italy: Genomic Comparison with Omicron Lineages. Preprints 2022, 2022050018 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202205.0018.v1).

Abstract

The rapid emergence and worldwide detection of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant underscore the importance of robust genomic surveillance systems and prompt information sharing among global public health partners. The Omicron variant has rapidly replaced the delta variant as a dominating SARS-CoV-2 variant because of natural selection, favoring the variant with higher infectivity and more strong vaccine breakthrough ability. Omicron has three lineages or sub-variants, BA.1 (B.1.1.529.1), BA.2 (B.1.1.529.2), and BA.3 (B.1.1.529.3). Among them, BA.1 is the currently prevailing sub-variant. BA.2 is found to be able to alarmingly re-infect patients originally infected by omicron BA.1. BA.3 lineage is a combination of mutations in BA.1 and BA.2 spike proteins. Today any data are reported on BA.4 lineage. Here we describe the new emerging BA.4 lineage, first detected in Italy, and its genomic comparison with the other three lineages of the omicron variant, which harbor a deletion of the ORF1 ab gene never reported till now. We can speculate that omicron BA.4 will become a new dominating “variant of concern”. Besides that, we show also the capability of five different types of rapid antigenic tests to recognize it.

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2; Variant of Concern; BA.4; pandemic

Subject

LIFE SCIENCES, Molecular Biology

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