Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 with receptor-binding protein N501Y mutation in Thi-Qar governorate, Iraq
Keywords:RBD N501Y mutation,, Spike N501Y mutation, SARS-CoV-2 N501Y mutation.
Since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, which started in china, Wuhan city, in late December 2019, the pandemic has involved more than 200 countries worldwide. Many countries started to do research and profound studies to evaluate and discover this virus's weak point, hoping to produce a vaccine that might stop or slow down the spreading of the virus. The first wave that hit our country at the beginning of February 2020 was brutal for our health system since we were unprepared to fight back. Beginning of 2021, new variants showed up around the world the alpha variant (B.1.1.7, 501Y.V1), the Beta variant (B.1.351, 501Y.V2), and the Gamma variant (P.1, 501Y.V3) variant. According to the new studies, the new variant is more transmissible than the classic one. This new variant spread from the UK to other countries like Brazil, South Africa, and the Middle East, including Iraq. The variant with the N501Y mutation is more transmissible, causing the spreading of the virus. Our study aims to screen the prevalence of N501Y mutation in protein- binding domain of spike protein in Thi-Qar governorate community, in Iraq. The study included suspected individuals who visited the main isolation centre in Nasiriya city (Al Hussein teaching hospital and Al-Shifa quarantine centre) and from an active survey that involved students and public screening through mobile medical staff visiting from the end of February to the mid of March 2021. Our data included 10628 samples and showed that the prevalence of N501Y mutation in Thi-Qar governorate community was (22.80%) showing a genuine concern regarding the new virus variants. Our current result showed that asymptomatic individuals could be a source of transmissible SARS-CoV-2 with a rate (9.35%) positive for N501Y mutation since they feel they are not sick and do not have any reason to get a test for SARS-CoV-2.