Santara Clinics will study the strains of concern along with laboratories around the world

The world is paying increasing attention to emerging strains of viruses. It is already known that mutations in the coronavirus genome can more easily infect human cells and lead to the development of resistance to acquired immunity.

According to Daniel Naumov, medical biologist and head of the Santara Clinics Biobank, the coordinator of the future project, the researchers will try to elucidate the relationship between circulating coronavirus strains and the host immune response. properties they acquire.

Research of Sigismund Gedvila / 15min photo / COVID-19

Researchers at the Santara clinics have been studying the virus strains since December last year. According to the National Public Health Laboratory, more than 4.5 thousand samples have already been tested in the Santara Clinics Laboratory. It is being monitored which strains of the virus are currently circulating in society and which of them are of concern.

“The work of researchers at Santara Clinics in this field is very impressive, so we hope that by participating in a three-year international project with other top scientists in the world to analyze virus strains, we can provide recommendations for optimized clinical management and treatment and control of infection. spread of strains in schools and to assess the impact of this prevalence on the population.

In the event of a new pandemic, we would already have developed methodologies, protocols, technologies, and know what to recommend to vaccine manufacturers so that vaccines are effective against emerging strains. The created groups would become networks of laboratories dedicated to the rapid fight against new infectious diseases, ”says D. Naumov.

According to the medical biologist, the further the virus evolves, the more likely it is to become less and less similar to the Wuhan virus, and our post-disease immunity will no longer be able to fight the new strain so effectively. There are many strains of the virus, but it is already known that there are four strains of greatest concern: alpha, beta, gamma and delta.

We heard about the alpha variety in the middle of January this year, and after a few months it was found almost everywhere – the spread of this variety was so fast.

“The Delta strain, also known as the Indian strain, is spreading even faster than the alpha, it has outperformed other strains in the UK in a short time and is gradually beginning to dominate across Europe. The speed of spread is not the worst feature of the virus, much worse if the characteristics of the strain make people seriously ill and have to treat them in hospitals, D. Naumov emphasizes. “Then there is a shortage of places in hospitals to treat patients with other diseases, and so the pandemic turns against everyone, even those who do not have COVID-19.”

The rate of spread is not the worst feature of the virus, much worse if the characteristics of the strain make people seriously ill and have to be treated in hospitals.

Beta and gamma, also known as South African and Brazilian strains, have increased resistance, which means that acquired immunity after vaccination is less effective in fighting these strains, and vaccinated people can get sick. But there is also good news. Known and confirmed: Vaccines get much easier or asymptomatic compared to unvaccinated people.

“Coronavirus is often compared to the flu virus. Although they are both RNA viruses, there are many differences, explains Naumov. – One of the most important is that the influenza virus does not have a lesion repair mechanism, so the mutation remains when the genome changes during the replication of the virus. Coronavirus has a lesion repair mechanism that repairs it when a mutation in the viral genome occurs, causing coronavirus to evolve, but not as quickly.

However, if we do not protect, it will evolve more rapidly with rapid reproduction, and there is a greater likelihood that it will spread around the world as a result of mutation and favorable conditions, as has happened with the delta variety. So by not wearing masks, by not vaccinating, by not creating collective immunity, we ourselves are facilitating the spread, mutation, evolution of the coronavirus, and thus contributing to our enduring pandemic with our inappropriate attitude. ”


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