A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron strain – XBB.1.9 – was discovered in wastewater in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast

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A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron strain – XBB.1.9 – was identified by sequencing in a sample of wastewater collected in Pavlograd (Dnipropetrovsk region). This is the first finding of this type of Omicron strain in wastewater, which may indicate the probable appearance of this variant in covid patients in the Dnipropetrovsk region in the near future.

The research was carried out by specialists of the reference laboratory of the Center for Public Health with the assistance of the USAID project “Supporting efforts to combat tuberculosis in Ukraine”, implemented by PATH.

As of March 2023, this variant of the virus was detected in only one person – a resident of the Kyiv region, who fell ill with covid.

The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron strain is currently distributed in Indonesia (up to 50% of cases), Southeast Asian countries and some European countries. Currently, specialists from various countries are actively studying the strain, and, according to forecasts, Omicron XBB.1.9 may become dominant in the near future.

As part of the USAID project, in 2023 it is planned to support the sequencing of wastewater samples that will be collected in Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Chernivtsi, Lviv, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, and Rivne regions. Sequencing will be carried out on the basis of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

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