Brussels: A 90-year-old unvaccinated woman in Belgium has died after being concurrently infected with Alpha and Beta — two totally different variants of concern (VOCs) of COVID-19, researchers have mentioned. The case advocates the must be alert to co-infections.
A staff of researchers from the OLV Hospital in Aalst, offered the nonagenarian woman’s case on the ongoing 2021 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, going down on-line between July 9 and 12.
“This is one of the first documented cases of co-infection with two SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern,” mentioned lead writer and molecular biologist Dr Anne Vankeerberghen from the OLV Hospital.
“Both these variants were circulating in Belgium at the time, so it is likely that the lady was co-infected with different viruses from two different people. Unfortunately, we don’t know how she became infected,” Vankeerberghen added.
The staff reported that the woman, whose medical historical past was unremarkable, was admitted to the hospital on March 3, 2021, after a spate of falls. She examined optimistic for COVID on the identical day. She lived alone and acquired nursing care at dwelling, and had not been vaccinated towards COVID-19.
Further exams for VOCs with PCR confirmed the presence of two totally different strains of the virus — Alpha (B117), which originated within the UK, and Beta (B1351), first detected in South Africa.
Initially, there have been no indicators of respiratory misery and the affected person had good oxygen saturation. However, she developed quickly worsening respiratory signs and died 5 days later.
In January 2021, scientists in Brazil reported that two folks had been concurrently infected with two totally different strains of the coronavirus — the Brazilian variant generally known as B1128 (E484K) and a novel variant VUI-NP13L, which had beforehand been found in Rio Grande do Sul. But the research has but to be printed in a scientific journal. Previous analysis has reported folks infected with totally different influenza strains.
“Whether the co-infection of the two variants of concern played a role in the fast deterioration of the patient is difficult to say,” Vankeerberghen mentioned.
“Up to now, there have been no other published cases. However, the global occurrence of this phenomenon is probably underestimated due to limited testing for variants of concern and the lack of a simple way to identify co-infections with whole-genome sequencing,” she famous.