Very few recombinant variants of coronavirus have been found in India: INSACOG

Based on genome-sequencing analysis, the Indian SARS-COV-2 Genomics Consortia (INSACOG) has said very few recombinant variants of the coronavirus have been found in the country and none of those has shown either increased transmission, locally or otherwise, nor were they associated with severe disease or hospitalisation.

INSACOG, in its weekly bulletin of April 11 that was released on Wednesday, said the incidences of suspected recombinants and the possible public health relevance are being closely monitored.

It said a total of 2,40,570 samples have been sequenced till now.

“Based on genome sequencing analysis, very few recombinant variants have been discovered in India. So far, none showed either increased transmission (locally or otherwise) or was associated with severe disease or hospitalisation,” it said.

On the global scenario, the INSACOG said two recombinant variants — XD and XE — are being closely monitored worldwide. XD, which has an Omicron S gene incorporated into a Delta genome, is found primarily in France.

“XE is a BA.1/BA.2 recombinant, with the majority of the genome including the S gene belonging to BA.2. XE shows slightly higher transmission rate. XE also shows a higher growth rate above that of BA.2; however, this finding requires further confirmation,” the INSACOG said.

At the prime minister’s meeting with chief ministers, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said one case of XK/XM was found in Maharashtra, one case of XJ was detected in Rajasthan and a case each of the XJ and XE recombinant versions of Omicron has been found in the country.