04/22/2021: Lab Advisory: CDC Classifies SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.526.1 a Variant of Interest
Audience: Clinical Laboratory Professionals
Level: Laboratory Advisory:
On April 21, 2021, CDC classified SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.526.1 as a variant of interest. This variant was first detected in New York in October 2020. Investigations are underway to further characterize B.1.526.1 sub-lineage viruses and their potential impact on current vaccines and therapeutics.
SARS-CoV-2 variants can be categorized into the following three classes based on a Variant Classification scheme developed by a US government interagency group:
A variant of interest might require one or more appropriate public health actions, including
- Enhanced sequence surveillance
- Enhanced laboratory characterization
- Epidemiological investigations to assess how easily the virus spreads to others, the severity of disease, the risk of reinfection, and whether currently authorized vaccines offer protection
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