• Yale Medicine Review Article: A recent article in the Yale Medicine Review sheds light on the Pirola variant.
  • Circulation of Pirola Variant: The variant is currently in circulation.

This topic of “Pirola” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is Pirola Variant?


  • Respiratory Virus: Pirola is a respiratory virus.
  • Coronavirus Variant BA.2.86: It belongs to the family of coronavirus variants and is specifically identified as BA.2.86.


  • Mutations: Pirola variant exhibits more than 30 mutations on its spike protein.
  • Comparison with XBB.1.5: It is noteworthy for its spike protein mutations, which can be compared to the previous dominant Omicron strain in the US (XBB.1.5).
  • Spike Protein Function: The spike protein is crucial for the entry of the coronavirus into human cells.

Significance of Pirola Variant

Mutation Concerns

  • High Mutation Count: The Pirola variant’s spike protein mutations raise concerns due to their significant number.
  • Comparison with Delta and Omicron: The mutation difference between Pirola and its predecessors, such as Delta and Omicron, is worth studying.
  • Shifts in Mutations: The variant showcases either massive changes or a gradual evolution in its genetic makeup, as observed in the Delta and Omicron variants.
  • Current Health Impact: As of now, there have been no reported deaths attributed to the Pirola variant.

Where has it been Reported?

  • The Pirola variant has been reported in several locations, including the USA, UK, Israel, Denmark, and South Africa.

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