Brazil Lacks Resources and Inputs to Properly Identify New Coronavirus Variants

In Brazil, about 0.03% of cases undergo genomic sequencing; in the UK, rate is 5%

Natalie Cancian Rachel Lopes

Brazil has increased surveillance of new coronavirus variants, but the level is still far from ideal and suffers from a lack of funding, human resources, and difficulty in obtaining inputs.

For specialists, the fact that other countries identified the P.1 variant circulating in the Amazonas state before Brazil highlights this difficulty.

The variant was first identified in samples of tourists from the state visiting Japan and only later confirmed in Brazil.

Currently, the so-called genomic surveillance, a model that allows the identification of new strains and variants of the virus through genetic sequencing, is carried out mainly by a network linked to the Ministry of Health and another linked to Science and Technology, in addition to projects in universities and in some private laboratories.

The number of samples sequenced in Brazil, however, is still low compared to other countries.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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