RKI report: new ‘Arcturus’ crown variant also discovered in Germany

DThe much discussed corona sublineage XBB.1.16 called “Arcturus” has so far been rarely documented in Germany. Six pieces of evidence were sent between January 30 and March 12, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported in its weekly Corona report. However, only a few samples are being tested for variants in Germany.

Reports from India, in particular, have caused a stir over the past few days. “In India, there has recently been a growing proportion of this sublineage, in parallel with an increase in the incidence of Covid 19,” writes RKI. Over the past few weeks, XBB.1.16 has been found in various countries.

According to the RKI, the sublineage is characterized by three additional mutations in the so-called spike protein. The RKI did not comment on the possible impact of these changes on disease or infection severity. However, experts warn against panic, as there is practically no reliable data yet.

“Arcturus” is a subline of XBB.1 omicron recombinants that currently dominate Germany. The RKI expects that in Germany the share of XBB.1 sub-lines will continue to grow in the coming weeks. For the XBB.1.5 sublineage currently predominant in Germany, preliminary data do not indicate an increased severity of the disease.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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