New coronavirus COVID-19.
The coronavirus variant identified in South Africa (JAR) carries a “serious risk of re-infection” and this raises concerns about the effectiveness of vaccines.
This is stated in a preliminary survey, the results of which were published on Wednesday. Other studies show that the British variant of the coronavirus may be stopped by vaccination. The AFP news agency informed about it.
In recent weeks, several new variants have emerged – each with a certain number of genetic mutations. The new variants raised concerns about greater infectivity and also led to speculation that the coronavirus could escape the body’s defense (immune) response, whether due to an overdue infection or a vaccine.
These new variants have been identified and spread from Britain, South Africa and Brazil – and have mutations in the “spike protein”, a glycoprotein spike that allows the virus to enter a human cell and therefore plays a key role in transmitting infection.
But there is one mutation of which experts are particularly concerned about the ability to “escape immunity.” This mutation is known as E484K and is found in variants found in the Republic of South Africa and Brazil, but not in the British variant.
During a new study that has not yet been expertly evaluated by fellow scientists, researchers in South Africa tested a variant there – called 501Y.V2 – using blood plasma from patients cured of COVID-19.
They found that the variant was resistant to neutralizing antibodies obtained from previous coronavirus infections, but stressed that further research into the efficacy of other components of the immune response was needed.
The researchers tentatively stated: “The 501Y.V2 variant, which contains nine ‘spike protein’ mutations and suddenly emerged in South Africa in the second half of 2020, is largely resistant to neutralizing antibodies obtained by infection with previously propagated variants.”
“This suggests that people around the world who have already become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and are expected to have some degree of immunity are at risk of being infected with new variants, such as 501Y.V2,” the researchers wrote in the study.
The researchers added that, in addition to using existing vaccines, it could also adversely affect the use of plasma from healed patients, which has so far helped as a drug for COVID-19.
Trevor Bedford of the Fred Hutchinson Research Center wrote on Twitter that the variant could “become more widespread in the coming months.”
If the results of the South African study are confirmed, Bedford said it may be necessary to adapt vaccine development by the autumn of this year.
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Source: Pravda.sk – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.
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