New ‘IHU’ Variant (B.1.640.2) detected in France

A new variant called ‘IHU’ (a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2) is reported to have emerged in south-eastern France.  

Researchers in Marseille, France have reported detection of a new variant of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.  

The index patient had recent travel history to Cameroon. A total of 12 cases of the new variant have been reported.  

The genome analysis of the new variant has revealed 46 mutations and 37 deletions resulting in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions. Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are located in the spike protein. This genotype pattern led to create a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2 

The new variant has been named “IHU” 

Not much is known yet about infectivity and virulence of this new variant however it speaks volume about unpredictability of emergence of new variant.  



Colson P., et al 2022. Emergence in Southern France of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of probably Cameroonian origin harbouring both substitutions N501Y and E484K in the spike protein. Preprint medRxiv. Posted December 29, 2021. DOI:  

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