Preprint Brief Report Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

First Identification in Italy of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 Harboring KSF141_del: Genomic Comparison with Omicron Sub-Variants

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.; Curcio, R.; Dolce, V.; Cione, E.; Minchella, P. First Identification in Italy of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 Harboring KSF141_del: Genomic Comparison with Omicron Sub-Variants. Preprints 2022, 2022050018 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202205.0018.v2). 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.; Curcio, R.; Dolce, V.; Cione, E.; Minchella, P. First Identification in Italy of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4 Harboring KSF141_del: Genomic Comparison with Omicron Sub-Variants. Preprints 2022, 2022050018 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202205.0018.v2).

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. Also known as B.1.1.529, Omicron has four sub-variants, BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, and BA.4. Among them, BA.1 is the currently prevailing sub-variant, BA.2 is found to be able to alarmingly re-infect patients initially infected by omicron BA.1. BA.3 sub-variants is a combination of mutations of BA.1 and BA.2, especially in the spike protein. Today emerging is the BA.4, herein described and first detected in Italy, harboring a new mutation, specifically a deletion in the ORF 1 ab gene, corresponding to KSF141_del in non-structural protein 1 (nsp1), a critical virulence factor able to suppress host translation. The bioinformatics comparison analysis with the other three sub-variants pointed out that the deletion was not present previously and was never reported until now. Therefore, we can speculate that omicron BA.4; will become a new dominating “variant of concern” and might also break vaccine protection . On the other hand, we show that other proteins are mutated in the BA.4 in particular, seven mutations are recognized in the nucleocapsid (N) protein, 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

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 6 May 2022
Commenter: Erika Cione
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Please find attached the manuscript ID biomedicines-1729710. We extended the text and better explained our novel findings. Since this is a new discovery, we optioned preprints. We changed authorship by adding Dr. Curcio who was not included by material error before.
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