OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JULY 21
PEKIN, IL – Reditus Laboratories in Pekin identified 64 additional cases of the B.1.617.2 variant — also known as the Indian double mutant variant or the Delta variant — during its sequencing run on July 16.
Reditus had reported one case discovered via sequencing in May and two cases discovered through sequencing in June, meaning that Reditus has identified 67 cases of the Delta variant, said CEO Dr. Aaron Rossi.
Rossi on Wednesday called the increase “substantial.”
The samples sequenced on July 16 were collected from June 4 through July 7. The 64 people were from throughout Illinois, including several from Central Illinois and, specifically, 18 from the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas, Rossi said.
During its sequencing run on July 16 at its lab in Pekin, Reditus tested 364 randomly selected positive COVID-19 samples. The 64 cases of the Delta variant represented 18% of the 364 samples. Among other variants identified were 154 cases of the B.1.1.7 lineage, better known as the UK (United Kingdom) variant), representing 42% of the samples, and 107 cases of the P.1 (Brazilian) variant, representing 29% of the samples, Rossi said. Small numbers of other variants also were identified.
Variants are of concern because they are potentially more contagious and may have potential resistance to the vaccines. The Delta variant, first identified in India and confirmed in the United States in April, is believed to be more transmissible than previous strains of the virus.
Rossi said his goal in sharing sequencing information from time to time is simply to keep the public aware of the spreading variants.
Reditus tests nasal samples collected throughout the country for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) using gold-standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing. Reditus sequenced the 364 samples using the Illumina NextSeq, which the laboratory began using earlier this year.
Reditus sequencing data is shared with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and GISAID, a global initiative that provides access to genomic data of influenza viruses and COVID-19.
Reditus Laboratories is a full-service laboratory company with a heavy focus on molecular diagnostics. Based in Pekin, Illinois, Reditus provides top-tier, accurate anatomical and clinical pathology services, including cytology, histology and molecular testing. Reditus is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program. Additional information is at www.redituslabs.com, as well as on Facebook at Reditus Laboratories and Twitter @ReditusLabs.