Sao Paulo State, the most populous area in Brazil, currently experiences a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic MESHD
which overwhelmed the healthcare system. Recently, due to the paucity of SARS-CoV-2 MESHD
complete genome sequences, we established a Network for Pandemic Alert of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants to rapidly understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and monitor in nearly real-time the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants into the state. Through full genome analysis of 217 SARS-CoV-2 complete genome sequences obtained from the largest regional health departments we were able to identify the co-circulation of multiple SARS-CoV-2 lineages such as i) B.1.1 (0.92%), ii) B.1.1.1 (0.46%), iii) B.1.1.28 (25.34%), iv) B.1.1.7 (5.99%), v) B.1.566 (1.84%), vi) P.1 (64.05%), and P.2 (0.92%). Further our analysis allowed the detection, for the first time in Brazil of the South African variant of concern (VOC), the B.1.351 (501Y.V2) (0.46%). The identified lineage was characterized by the presence of the following mutations: ORF1ab PROTEIN
: T265I, R724K, S1612L, K1655N, K3353R, SGF 3675_F3677del, P4715L, E5585D; Spike: D80A, D215G, L242_L244del, A262D, K417N, E484K, N501Y, D614G, A701V, C1247F; ORF3a PROTEIN
: Q57H, S171L, E: P71L; ORF7b PROTEIN
: Y10F, N: T205I; ORF14: L52F. Origin of the most recent common ancestor of this genomic variant was inferred to be between middle October to late December 2020. Analysis of generated sequences demonstrated the predominance of the P.1 lineage and allowed the early detection of the South African strain for the first time in Brazil. Our findings highlight the importance to increase active monitoring to ensure the rapid detection of new SARS-CoV-2 variants with a potential impact in pandemic control and vaccination strategies.