Scientists from Brazil discovered two cases in which different variants of covid-19 generated a simultaneous infection, which opens a previously unknown facet on the new coronavirus.
These are two 30-year-old women who suffered from mild and moderate symptoms. In both, a coinfection was identified from two different variants. In one case, the two variants identified had circulated in Brazil since the beginning of the pandemic. On the other, the woman was simultaneously infected with an older strain of the virus and with the P.2 variant first identified in Rio de Janeiro.
The finding came from 92 samples taken in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
According to the researchers, the coinfection would allow the combination of the genomes of different strains, which could give rise to new variants of the coronavirus. “Although there are some reported cases of reinfection, the possibility of coinfection by E484K adds a new factor to the complex interaction between immune response systems and Pico mutations of SARS-CoV-2, ” the authors said, according to CNN.
The news of the new discovery comes as Brazil goes through one of the worst contagion and death crises from covid-19. With an overwhelmed health system and in the absence of measures taken by President Jair Bolsonaro, the country ranks second in the number of deaths, with more than 373,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Last week, Brazilian health authorities warned that the profile of seriously ill patients admitted to intensive care was changing. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of patients under 40 years admitted to intensive care exceeded the group of adults.