A New Mutation In A British Variant Of Coronavirus Has Raised Concerns About Greater Vaccine Resistance

2021-02-04   |   by CusiGO

British health authorities have found one of the most disturbing mutations in the coronavirus, known as e484k, which is associated with easier escape from human defense. The British variant of the virus is thought to be as infectious as 50%. According to a report released on Monday, the UK public health department has only observed this new combination in 11 samples of patients with cowide.

The variety, known as the British variety, appeared in September and soon became the dominant variety in the UK. It has been found in 73 countries, including Spain, and U.S. authorities have warned that it could worsen the epidemic. As a series of characteristic mutations accumulate, scientists talk about variants of the virus. The British variant has 23 variations, including the n501y mutation, which some geneticists call Nelly, and is associated with higher infectivity. The data is not conclusive.

The e484k mutation, renamed Eric, will now be added to the 23 previously identified mutations. Biologist Inaki comas said: “this is a worrying problem, because a more infectious variant now appears to be related to the greater severity of the disease, and we have added a mutation that we know impairs the antibody response.”. The co head of the consortium responsible for monitoring the genome of the Spanish coronavirus estimates that the British variant – without Eric – already accounts for about 10% of cases in Spanish territory.

Ravi Gupta, a microbiologist at Cambridge University in the UK, created a pseudovirus in his laboratory, which is characterized by a British variant plus a mutation in e484k. They believe Eric increased the virus’s resistance to antibodies from plasma donated by people already vaccinated with Pfizer. Biologist Inaki comas recalls that human defense is more than just antibodies. Another important component of the immune response is T lymphocytes, a white blood cell that destroys coronavirus infected cells. Greater resistance to antibodies does not necessarily mean that the virus escapes from the human body to the defensive forces.

The biggest worry now is that the new British variant, combined with Eric, will be a more infectious, destructive and resistant vaccine. A combination of Erik and Nelly mutations has been found in two other worrying variants, which were first found in South Africa and Brazil. The Spanish government decided on Tuesday to restrict flights from both countries, despite the emergence of a South African variant in Spain: the first case was found in Vigo last week.

Eric mutation is the main reason for the increase of resistance to human antibodies. According to the preliminary results of a trial of 20000 people, Novavax’s vaccine showed 89% effectiveness in the UK, but only 60% in South Africa. According to provisional data from a trial involving 44000 participants, the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, also from the United States, was 72%, 66% and 57% in the United States, Latin America and South Africa, respectively. Vaccines don’t seem to be as effective in controlling infection with the Eric mutant virus, but they still provide very high protection against severe covid.

“It’s not surprising that a mutation that gives so many advantages can occur many times in different environments. “This shows that the only way to slow down the occurrence of these mutations is to minimize transmission,” said comas of the Valencia Institute for biomedical research (CSIC). The virus always mutates. The uncontrolled spread of the epidemic has multiplied the likelihood of more dangerous variants. In the past week, nearly 4 million new infections have been found worldwide. “It’s not just a window of opportunity for viruses to change. It’s basically opening windows, doors, even garages, “in the words of Julian vilabona, a Columbia biologist at the London School of hygiene and tropical medicine.

“The e484k mutation is worrying, but it’s not the cause of despair,” verabona said. The Hyundai US company reported on January 25 that its vaccine produced antibodies six times less capable of neutralizing the South African variant virus, but the researchers recalled that this was still enough. “E484k may affect the ability of the virus to reinfect us, but that doesn’t mean the mutation will completely escape our immune system. In addition, the impact of mutations on vaccines may vary at the individual level, but the impact at the group level may still be satisfactory, “verabona stressed.

The team of epidemiologist Nuno Faria of Imperial College London discovered the coronavirus variants of Eric and Nelly in Manaus, Brazil, in December. Faria and his colleagues warned on January 12 that the virus could mutate in the same direction in different parts of the world: the mutation could spread more easily, and even re infect people who have passed cowid. The geneticist Fernando Gonz รก lez candelas, CO chair of the Spanish consortium and a professor at the University of Valencia, thinks it’s too early to talk about convergent evolution. “They are independent mutations. Now we don’t see that they are selected in different populations to produce similar mutation combinations, “he pointed out.

The solution to this problem is well known: vaccinate everyone as soon as possible, and protect yourself with masks, body distance, hand hygiene, and good ventilation before that. “The new mutation and e484k mutation taught us a lesson, We should not underestimate the evolution of the virus and let it spread freely, “verabona stressed. “A virus that doesn’t spread is a virus that doesn’t evolve,” he said.

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