20C-US: New Coronavirus Variant in the USA


Researchers at Southern Illinois University have reported a new variant of SARS COV-2 Virus in the USA.  

According to reports published on preprint server which is yet to be peer-reviewed, researchers have identified a new variant using genomic virus surveillance approach.  


Referred as 20C-US, this variant appeared in the USA early in the pandemic and has now become one of the most prevalent variants in the USA. Apparently, this has not spread to other countries widely.   


The US variant adds to the growing list of SARS-CoV-2 variants including UK and South Africa variants.  

Coronaviruses have very high rate of mutation because of lack of proofreading nuclease activity hence evolve constantly.  



  1. Pater A.A., Bosmeny M.S, et al 2021. Emergence and Evolution of a Prevalent New SARS-CoV-2 Variant in the United States. Preprint bioRxiv. Posted January 13, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.11.426287  
  1. SIU 2021. Southern Illinois University News – SIU research discovers new, dominant variant of U.S. COVID-19 virus. Posted January 14, 2021. Available online at https://news.siu.edu/2021/01/011421-SIU-research-discovers-new,-dominant-variant-of-U.S.-COVID-19-virus.php Accessed on 14 January 2021.  
  1. Prasad U., 2021. New Strains of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19): Could ‘Neutralising Antibodies’ Approach be Answer to Rapid Mutation? Posted 23 December 2020. Scientific European. Available online at https://www.scientificeuropean.co.uk/new-strains-of-sars-cov-2-the-virus-responsible-for-covid-19-could-neutralising-antibodies-approach-be-answer-to-rapid-mutation/ Accessed on 14 January 2021.