SARS-CoV-2 Iota variant

Iota variant,[1] also known as lineage B.1.526, is one of the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first detected in New York City in November 2020. The variant has appeared with two notable mutations: the E484K spike mutation, which may help the virus evade antibodies, and the S477N mutation, which may help the virus bind more tightly to human cells.

By February 2021, it had spread rapidly in the New York region and accounted for about one in four viral sequences.[2][3] By 11 April 2021, the variant had been detected in at least 48 U.S. states and 18 countries.[4][5]

Under the simplified naming scheme proposed by the World Health Organization, B.1.526 has been labeled Iota variant, and is considered a variant of interest (VOI), but not yet a variant of concern.[6]


The Iota (B.1.526) genome contains the following amino-acid mutations, all of which are in the virus's spike protein code: L5F, T95I, D253G, E484K, D614G and A701V.[7]


The increase of the Iota variant was captured by researchers at Caltech by scanning for mutations in a database known as GISAID, a global science initiative that has documented over 700,000 genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2.[9][10]

The proportion of USA cases represented by the Iota variant had declined sharply by the end of July 2021 as the Delta variant became dominant.[11]


Cases by country (Updated as of 11 August 2021) GISAID[12]
CountryConfirmed casesLast Reported Case
 USA45,55824 June 2021
 Ecuador16810 June 2021
 Spain11917 June 2021
 Colombia11524 May 2021
 Aruba10310 June 2021
 Germany5622 June 2021
 Mexico5011 June 2021
 United Kingdom4316 May 2021
 Sint Maarten1727 May 2021
 Ireland137 May 2021
  Switzerland1217 May 2021
 Chile1112 May 2021
 Denmark931 May 2021
 Israel926 April 2021
 Suriname910 May 2021
 Argentina826 April 2021
 Belgium818 April 2021
 Dominican Republic810 June 2021
 France825 May 2021
 Lithuania828 May 2021
 Singapore74 April 2021
 Australia621 May 2021
 Italy64 May 2021
 Luxembourg605 March 2021
 Costa Rica521 May 2021
 Netherlands519 April 2021
 Russia54 June 2021
 Croatia49 February 2021
 Japan47 May 2021
 South Korea414 April 2021
 Sweden414 May 2021
 Turkey44 May 2021
 Malta421 December 2020
 India324 March 2021
 Dominica315 January 2021
 Slovenia318 May 2021
 Austria222 April 2021
 Ghana220 March 2021
 Grenada217 January 2021
 Indonesia28 January 2021
 Jamaica22 February 2021
 Liberia214 May 2021
 Portugal24 March 2021
 Romania217 April 2021
 Anguilla121 April 2021
 Antigua and Barbuda13 May 2021
 British Virgin Islands125 January 2021
 Cayman Islands115 April 2021
 Curacao130 April 2021
 Finland114 March 2021
 Guadeloupe19 March 2021
 New Zealand116 March 2021
 Poland131 March 2021
 Turks and Caicos Islands122 March 2021
 Venezuela18 May 2021
 World (57 countries)Total: 46,589Total as of 11 August 2021

See also


  1. ^ "Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants". Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Rosa-Aquino, Matt Stieb, Paola (March 21, 2021). "Everything We Know About the Coronavirus Variant Spreading in New York City". Intelligencer. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  3. ^ Mandavilli, Apoorva (February 24, 2021). "A New Coronavirus Variant Is Spreading in New York, Researchers Report". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  4. ^ "". Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  5. ^ "PANGO lineages Lineage B.1.526". April 22, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants". Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  7. ^ "SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  8. ^ "Spike Variants: Iota variant, aka B.1.526". Stanford University Coronavirus Antiviral & Resistance Database. July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  9. ^ Corum, Jonathan; Zimmer, Carl. "Coronavirus Variants and Mutations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  10. ^ West, Anthony P.; Barnes, Christopher O.; Yang, Zhi; Bjorkman, Pamela J. (February 23, 2021). "SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.526 emerging in the New York region detected by software utility created to query the spike mutational landscape". bioRxiv: 2021.02.14.431043. doi:10.1101/2021.02.14.431043. PMC 8077570. PMID 33907745. S2CID 231981267.
  11. ^ SARS-CoV-2 sequences by variant, Jul 26, 2021, USA Our World in Data
  12. ^ "GISAID - hCov19 Variants". Retrieved July 2, 2021.

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Scientifically accurate atomic model of the external structure of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a strain (genetic variant) of the coronavirus that caused Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China, during December 2019

Each separate locus (amorphous blob) is an atom of:

  cobalt: membrane
  crimson: E protein
  green: M protein
  orange: glucose (glycan)
  turquoise : S (spike) glycoprotein
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