Variant Mu: Learn what was discovered about the Covid-19 strain found in Colombia

Mu is the latest variant of Covid-19, discovered in Colombia just over a week ago, on Aug. 31, it has been classified by the World Health Organization as being of “interest”. This means that more studies are needed to determine the severity of the strain.

Despite this, WHO considers it dangerous because of its “constellation of mutations that indicate potential immunity escape properties”. In other words, depending on the severity, the strain can bar the protection of vaccines at some level. However, more research needs to be done with the immunizers and the Mu variant of Covid-19 for this to be determined.


Variants such as Delta, from India, and Gama, found here in Brazil, are classified as “worry”, as studies have already been carried out that have proven the greater degree of transmission of these strains in relation to the original version of the virus. On the other hand, those of “interest”, such as Mu, have not yet been fully studied.

“Since it was identified in Colombia in January 2021, there have been some sporadic records of cases of the Mu variant and some larger outbreaks have been reported in other countries in South America and Europe”, explains an excerpt from the bulletin released by the WHO reporting to discovery of the strain.

For us Brazilians, the Mu variant gets even more attention due to its proximity. While the strain is responsible for less than 0.1% among sequenced cases of the disease worldwide, in nearby countries such as Colombia and Ecuador this number is much higher, being respectively 39% and 13% of sequenced infections.

Mu variant differences

In a preliminary article published by Trinity College University in Ireland, biochemistry professor Luke O’Neill explains that a mutation called P681H, found in the Mu variant, can make the strain more transmissible, as the same change has been identified in the Alpha variant. , from UK.

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In addition, other changes change the ability of the strain to pass through the antibodies, just like in the Beta variant. However, the researcher emphasizes that it is not yet possible to fully understand the effect of these mutations on the Covid-19 virus and that further studies are needed to understand the dangers of Mu.

By the end of August, the WHO had confirmed 4,500 confirmed cases of the Mu variant worldwide. Of these, about 10 were identified here in Brazil.


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