As many parts of the world are preparing for life after COVID-19, new variants of the virus with “incredibly high” numbers of mutations have emerged, scientists warn. I am.
Has the first case been reported?
There is concern that B.1.1529, or a variant of Botswana (a derivative of B.1.1), may promote further transmission of the virus.
The first to be found was in Botswana, followed by 6 in South Africa and 1 in Hong Kong, involving travelers returning from South Africa.
The case found in Hong Kong was a 36-year-old man who had a negative PCR test before flying from Hong Kong to South Africa and stayed from October 22nd to November 11th. He was negative when he returned to Hong Kong, but was positive on November 13 during quarantine.
Experts say that Botswana strains It will be named “Nu”, which is worse than the delta variant of COVID-19.
The B.1.1.529 variant has 32 mutations in the pesplomer. This is part of the virus that most vaccines use to stimulate the immune system against Covid. Peplomer mutations can affect the ability of the virus to infect and spread cells, but they can also make it difficult for immune cells to attack the pathogen.
Why is it “terrifying”?
Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, posted details of the new variant on the genome-sharing website, suggesting that “an incredible amount of spike mutations could really be a concern. I have. ” He said the variant could be “worse than almost anything else,” including the world-dominant Delta strain.
In a series of tweets, Peacock said, “It needs to be very, very, very monitored because of its horrifying spike profile,” but it could turn out to be a “strange cluster” that isn’t very well communicated. I added. “I hope so,” he wrote.
It’s worth emphasizing this, which is currently a very small number in the region of Africa, which is fairly well sampled, but it needs to be very monitored due to its horrifying spike profile (this is most of the others). It is presumed to be worse antigenically than
— Tom Peacock (@PeacockFlu) November 23, 2021
Dr. Mirachand, Covid-19 Incident Director, UK Health and Security Agency, has worked with scientific organizations around the world to work with scientific organizations around the world. The agency was constantly monitoring the status of the Sars-CoV-2 mutant. As they emerge and develop around the world.
“Due to the nature of the virus, it mutates frequently and randomly, so it is not uncommon for a small number of cases to be characterized by a new set of mutations. All varieties that show evidence of spread are evaluated quickly,” she said. Said.
Professor François Burrow, a geneticist at the University College of London, said he was most likely affected by a prolonged infection in immunocompromised patients, perhaps undiagnosed AIDS patients. The change to spikes trains the immune system to recognize older versions of this part of the virus, making it difficult for current jabs to fight.
Does it invalidate the vaccine?
In patients with weakened immunity, the infection can last for months because the body cannot fight it off.this Gives time to acquire mutations that allow the virus to evade the body’s defenses.
Scientists have previously stated that Kent’s “alpha” variant may have emerged in this way.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School, said the mutant may be better at avoiding vaccine-induced immunity than other mutants based on the mutation.
But he added: [mutations]And it depends a lot on how the immune system sees and reacts to changes.
Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, said the Botswana variant caused concern due to a “very widespread” set of mutations.
He said:’This increases the risk of vaccine escape, but has not proven that it will happen. “The infectivity of the strain is not clear and is also affected by the structure of the spikes.” The Botswana subspecies carries the same variants K417N and E484A as the South African “beta” subspecies and can dodge the vaccine. I can do it.
However, there are also N440K in the Delta and S477N in the New York variant, which are also linked to antibody escape. This variant also includes the “rarely seen together” mutations P681H and N679K, which may further enhance jab resistance.
And the mutant N501Y, which made the virus more contagious and was previously seen in Kent’s “alpha” variants and betas. Other mutations it has include G446S, T478K, Q493K, G496S, Q498R and Y505H, but their importance is not yet clear.
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