Several SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmissibility and/or potential immune escape have emerged and rapidly spread worldwide. Ongoing surveillance analyses are performed worldwide to designate new variants of concern (VOC) of coronavirus.
This report identifies the first Egyptian patient with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. The patient showed positivity on reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and full genome sequencing was performed to confirm the variant. The mutations found in the variant were compared with the GISAID reference strain hCoV-19/Wuhan/WIV04/2019. Genome BLAST showed the highest similarity to omicron variants isolated in South Africa. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the variant belongs to the 21K clade.
The study indicates the importance of information-sharing among global public health partners. Moreover the importance of implementation of full genome sequencing to rapidly identify and track the new SARS-CoV-2 variants.