SARS-CoV-2 Variant Comparison


  • A virus is a microscopic parasite that can only replicate inside the host. Viruses tend to infect all life forms, from plants to animals and even microorganisms like bacteria.
  • Viruses are made from basic two components i.e., RNA and DNA, and a protective covering of protein.
  • Once the virus enters inside your body, it grabs one of your cells and after that virus enters that cell makes a copy of itself then goes and infects other cells as well.
  • If the virus can replicate itself and seize enough of your cells without being thrown out, then this is how we got sick!!
  • Every time whenever the virus undergoes replication if the error occurs while replication then it produces a new mutant and this is known as mutation and hence, the different variants of the virus are being formed.
  • There are different types of viruses and from all of them, one is CORONAVIRUS.



  • It was first identified in 2019, it caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.
  • It has caused millions of deaths all around the world and ends up with so many health problems that have survived after the pandemic.
  • This virus can be easily be transmitted from person to person.
  • Symptoms will be shown in people within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus, depending upon the immune system of the individual.
  • Like other virus’s coronavirus also mutate and produce different variants.



As the coronavirus is rapidly spreading around the globe, the virus is constantly changing itself through mutation and new variants are emerging out. Multiple variants of coronavirus that cause COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide during this pandemic.

The virus is constantly changing and becoming more severe.

Multiple variants of coronavirus are classified into 3 classes –

  1. VARIANTS OF CONCERN – A variant which is having high chances of spreading the infection, reducing the capability of neutralizing antibodies caused by the previous infection, reduces the efficacy of vaccines and treatments.


  • ALPHA (B.1.1.7) – It was first detected in the United States in October 2020. It became the dominant strain at that time in approximately 172 countries.

Spike protein constitution – 69del, 70del, 144del, E484K*, S494P*, N501Y, A570D, D614G, P618H, T716I, S982A, D1118H (K1191N*).


  • BETA (B.1.351) – It was first revealed in South Africa in December 2020. And detected in the United States at the end of January 2020. It became dominant in approximately 120 countries.

Spike protein constitution – D80A, D215G, 241del, 242del, 243del, K417N, E484K, N501Y, D614G, A701V.


  • GAMMA (P.1) – It was identified in the passengers of Brazil, at the airport of Japan, in early January. And was detected in the United States in January 2021.

Spike protein constitution – L18F, T20N, P26S, D138Y, R190S, K417T, E484K, N501Y, D614G, H655Y, T1027I.


  • DELTA (B.1.617.2) – First detected in December 2020. And was detected in the United States in March 2021.

Spike protein constitution – T19R, V70F*, T95I, G142D, E156, F157, R158G, A222V*, W258L*, K417N*, L452R, T478K, D614G, P618R, D950N.


  1. VARIANTS OF INTEREST – These are the variants with specific genetic markers that are associated with changes in receptor binding. Characterized by increase chance of transmission of infection and severity of the disease.


  • ETA (B.1.525) – It was first detected in Nigeria in December 2020.

Spike protein constitution – E484K, D614G, Q677H.


  • THETA (P.3) – First detected in the Philippines in January 2021.

Spike protein constitution – E484K, N501Y, D614G, P681H.


  • KAPPA (B.1.617.1) – First revealed in India in December 2020.

Spike protein constitution – L452R, E484Q, D614G, P681R.


  • LAMDA (C.37) – First detected in Peru in December 2020.

Spike protein constitution – L452Q, F490S, D614G.


  1. VARIANT OF HIGH CONSEQUENCE – Currently there are no such variants in this category.


VARIANTS UNDER MONITORING – These are some additional variants that show an indication that they are similar to variants of concern.

  • LOTA (B.1.526)
  • ZOTA (P.2)



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