New Delta sub-lineage from Sri Lanka assigned B.1.617.2.104

Saturday, 20 November 2021 00:56 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A sub-lineage of the Delta COVID-19 variant detected in Sri Lanka has been assigned as B.1.617.2.104, but there is no impact on vaccine effectiveness, health experts say.

According to Dr. Chandima Jeewandara, a lecturer attached to the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine of the Sri Jayewardenepura University, this is the second Delta sub-lineage detected in the country. The first Delta sub-lineage is B.1.617.2.28.

“Therefore, the delta variants in Sri Lanka now have two unique sub lineages that originated in Sri Lanka. AY.28 and AY.104,” Dr. Jeewandara tweeted.

He added that Sri Lanka now has three COVID-19 variants that originated in the country. “The first one was B.411, which is a lineage of the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 virus,” he said.

However, Dr. Jeewandara said, in response to a question on its attributes, that the B.1.617.2.104 will not differ greatly from the parent Delta variant. According to him, there is no need for unnecessary fear as the sub-lineage is unlikely to impact the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

A frequency chart posted by Dr. Jeewandara shows the sub-lineage was detected as far back as May this year, along with the AY.28 sub-lineage.

“The AY.28 and AY.104 sub-lineages were detected around the same time. The AY.28 virus was mostly seen in Western Province, but the AY.104 sub-lineage is mainly seen in Northern Province, North Western Province, and Hambantota,” Dr. Jeewandara said.

He added that 479 samples received by the laboratory had the AY.28 sub-lineage and 282 samples had the AY.104 sub-lineage.

According to, the AY.104 sub-lineage was first detected on 3 May, with 62% detections from Sri Lanka, 12% detections from France, 8% detections from the US, 3% detections from Germany and 2% detections from Mexico.