Rapid communication Open Access
Like 1


We describe 10 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant BA.2.86 detected in Denmark, including molecular characteristics and results from wastewater surveillance that indicate that the variant is circulating in the country at a low level. This new variant with many spike gene mutations was classified as a variant under monitoring by the World Health Organization on 17 August 2023. Further global monitoring of COVID-19, BA.2.86 and other SARS-CoV-2 variants is highly warranted.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Schønning K, Dessau RB, Jensen TG, Thorsen NM, Wiuff C, Nielsen L, et al. Electronic reporting of diagnostic laboratory test results from all healthcare sectors is a cornerstone of national preparedness and control of COVID-19 in Denmark. APMIS. 2021;129(7):438-51.  https://doi.org/10.1111/apm.13140  PMID: 33949007 
  2. The Danish Health Authority. Covid-19 test, symptoms, and early treatment. Copenhagen: Danish Health Authority. [Accessed: 28 Aug 2023]. Available from: https://www.sst.dk/en/english/Corona-eng/Guidelines-vaccination-and-disease-prevention/Test-symptoms-and-early-treatment
  3. Statens Serum Institut (SSI). Virus monitoring at work. Copenhagen: SSI. [Accessed: 28 Aug 2023]. Available from: https://tcdk.ssi.dk/english/virus-monitoring-in-denmark
  4. Jessen R, Nielsen L, Larsen NB, Cohen AS, Gunalan V, Marving E, et al. A RT-qPCR system using a degenerate probe for specific identification and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variants of concern. PLoS One. 2022;17(10):e0274889.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0274889  PMID: 36197885 
  5. Rihn SJ, Merits A, Bakshi S, Turnbull ML, Wickenhagen A, Alexander AJT, et al. A plasmid DNA-launched SARS-CoV-2 reverse genetics system and coronavirus toolkit for COVID-19 research. PLoS Biol. 2021;19(2):e3001091.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001091  PMID: 33630831 
  6. Lyngse FP, Kirkeby CT, Denwood M, Christiansen LE, Mølbak K, Møller CH, et al. Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern subvariants BA.1 and BA.2 in Denmark. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):5760.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-33498-0  PMID: 36180438 
  7. Drummond AJ, Rambaut A. BEAST: Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees. BMC Evol Biol. 2007;7(1):214.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-7-214  PMID: 17996036 
  8. Karthikeyan S, Levy JI, De Hoff P, Humphrey G, Birmingham A, Jepsen K, et al. Wastewater sequencing reveals early cryptic SARS-CoV-2 variant transmission. Nature. 2022;609(7925):101-8.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05049-6  PMID: 35798029 
  9. McManus O, Christiansen LE, Nauta M, Krogsgaard LW, Bahrenscheer NS, von Kappelgaard L, et al. Predicting COVID-19 incidence using wastewater surveillance data, Denmark, October 2021-June 2022. Emerg Infect Dis. 2023;29(8):1589-97.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2908.221634  PMID: 37486168 
  10. Katoh K, Standley DM. MAFFT multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Mol Biol Evol. 2013;30(4):772-80.  https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/mst010  PMID: 23329690 
  11. Nguyen LT, Schmidt HA, von Haeseler A, Minh BQ. IQ-TREE: a fast and effective stochastic algorithm for estimating maximum-likelihood phylogenies. Mol Biol Evol. 2015;32(1):268-74.  https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu300  PMID: 25371430 
  12. Kalyaanamoorthy S, Minh BQ, Wong TKF, von Haeseler A, Jermiin LS. ModelFinder: fast model selection for accurate phylogenetic estimates. Nat Methods. 2017;14(6):587-9.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.4285  PMID: 28481363 
  13. Tamura K, Stecher G, Kumar S. MEGA11: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 11. Mol Biol Evol. 2021;38(7):3022-7.  https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msab120  PMID: 33892491 

Data & Media loading...

Supplementary data

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error