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Kappa variantis a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is one of the three sublineages of Pango lineage B.1.617. The SARS-CoV-2 Kappa variant is also known as lineage B.1.617.1 and was first detected in India in December 2020. By the end of March 2021, the Kappa sub-variant accounted for more than half of the sequences being submitted from India. On 1 April 2021, it was designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI-21APR-01) by Public Health England.
|Source: covariants.org and PHE Technical Briefing 9|
The Kappa variant has three notable alterations in the amino-acid sequences, all of which are in the virus's spike protein code.
The three notable substitutions are: L452R, E484Q, P681R
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also list a fourth spike mutation of interest:
The two other mutations which can be found closer to either end of the spike region are T95I and Q1071H.
The Kappa variant was first identified in India in December 2020.
By 11 May 2021, the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Update had reported 34 countries with detections of the subvariant, As of 19 May 2021 [update] , the United Kingdom had detected a total of 418 confirmed cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Kappa variant. On 6 June 2021, a cluster of 60 cases identified in the Australian city of Melbourne were linked to the Kappa variant.however by 25 May 2021, the number of countries had risen to 41.
A Public Health England technical briefing paper of 22 April 2021 reported that 119 cases of the sub-variant had been identified in England with a concentration of cases in the London area and the regions of the North West and East of England. Of the 119 cases, 94 had an established link to travel, 22 cases were still under investigation, but the remaining 3 cases were identified as not having any known link to travel.
On 2 June, the Guardian reported that at least 1 in 10 of the cases in the outbreak in the Australian state of Victoria were due to contact with strangers and that community transmission was involved with clusters of the Kappa variant. However, infectious disease expert, Professor Greg Dore, said that the Kappa variant was behaving "the same as we've seen before" in relation to other variants in Australia.
|Cases by country (Updated as of 13 September 2021) GISAID|
|Country||Confirmed cases||Collection date|
|India||4,437||26 May 2021|
|United Kingdom||545||31 May 2021|
|USA||308||24 June 2021|
|Canada||372||12 May 2021|
|Ireland||206||8 June 2021|
|Australia||128||15 June 2021|
|Germany||102||22 June 2021|
|Singapore||59||13 May 2021|
|Denmark||28||31 May 2021|
|Netherlands||27||12 June 2021|
|Japan||27||7 May 2021|
|Angola||6||20 April 2021|
|France||16||20 May 2021|
|Belgium||17||13 May 2021|
|China||13||18 April 2021|
|Qatar||7||17 May 2021|
|South Korea||12||27 April 2021|
|Switzerland||10||4 May 2021|
|Portugal||9||4 May 2021|
|Italy||19||24 May 2021|
|Bahrain||8||10 April 2021|
|Mexico||7||2 June 2021|
|South Africa||15||18 June 2021|
|Finland||11||23 May 2021|
|Luxembourg||10||26 April 2021|
|Spain||5||19 May 2021|
|Sweden||5||17 April 2021|
|Ghana||5||20 April 2021|
|Kenya||7||29 April 2021|
|Czech Republic||4||4 May 2021|
|Jordan||4||25 April 2021|
|Myanmar||4||2 June 2021|
|New Zealand||4||8 April 2021|
|Malaysia||4||1 June 2021|
|Indonesia||2||29 April 2021|
|Guadeloupe||2||10 March 2021|
|Nepal||2||9 May 2021|
|Sint Maarten||2||3 April 2021|
|Austria||2||1 August 2021|
|Curaçao||1||23 April 2021|
|Greece||1||6 April 2021|
|Slovakia||1||19 April 2021|
|Slovenia||2||6 April 2021|
|Thailand||1||26 April 2021|
|Uganda||1||26 March 2021|
|Zambia||1||2 May 2021|
|Romania||1||5 May 2021|
|Morocco||1||22 April 2021|
|Cayman Islands||3||16 April 2021|
|Poland||1||6 May 2021|
|Turkey||1||12 March 2021|
|Brazil||2||10 February 2021|
|Israel||2||2 January 2021|
|Saudi Arabia||1||14 April 2021|
|Russia||1||11 April 2021|
|Gabon||1||14 April 2021|
|Oman||2||16 May 2021|
|Nigeria||1||21 April 2021|
|World (58 countries)||Total: 6,476||Total as of 13 September 2021|
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A variant first detected in India was designated under investigation on 1 April 2021 as VUI-21APR-01 (B.1.617.1).This article incorporates text published under the British Open Government Licence v3.0:
For example, recently detected viruses of lineage B.1.617.1 were anticipated to show altered antigenicity due to the presence of the substitutions L452R and E484Q, which have been described as affecting antibody recognition.
These variants share one specific mutation called D614G... ...There is evidence that variants with this mutation spread more quickly than viruses without this mutation.
According to it, B.1.617.1 is found in 41 countries...