Covid-19 variants in UK and South Africa are cause for vigilance Covid-19 variants in UK and South Africa are cause for vigilance

Covid-19 variants in UK and South Africa are cause for vigilance

Even a partially protective vaccine may reduce the risk of more covid-19. But that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down
EconomiaMónSense categoriaZPortada Izquierda 10 febrero, 2021 user6 0
0 / 5 (0 votos)

Inici » Historic » Covid-19 variants in UK and South Africa are cause for vigilance

Covid-19 has been with us for more than a year. Like the rest of us, it is beginning to adapt. It isn’t unique in this regard. Viruses mutate all the time. They make mistakes during replication. In the human host the virus needs to find the right cell type to replicate. During this process, they expose to human immune responses. This responses exert pressure on it in various ways. This causes mutations to develop. This often occurs in parts of the virus that are most exposed to the immune system. In the case of Covid-19, this is the spike protein that binds it to host cells. That allows the virus to enter and replicate.

Image of a sign of a covid-19 vaccine centre

‘To reduce the emergence of viral covid-19 variants we need to reduce the viral replication in the population overall.’ Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

The UK mutation

The UK variant initially appeared last autumn in Kent. It came up with a mutation in the spike protein. It came along with a couple of amino acid deletions. This appeared to be more transmissible. It was later found not to impact significantly on the effectiveness of our then main Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Shortly after, we heard about the emergence of a new variant. It contains a different pattern of mutations in the spike protein. This mutations appeared to be spreading quickly throughout the South African population.

Picture of medical personnel observing medical covid-19 results

Covid-19 and the new variants keep medical personnel worldwide on their toes/ Source: Kashmir Observer

A new variant in South Africa and Brasil

There is something worrying about the South African variant. It has been shown to significantly reduce the neutralising efficacy of spike protein-specific antibodies. For example, those induced by the current generation of vaccines.

In Brazil experts have reported similar patterns. The Brazilian variant is more transmissible. Research has shown that it is able to partially evade vaccine responses. Scientifics have not identified all the cases of the variant yet in the UK. That does not mean it isn’t present in the population.

In addition, the recent E484K mutation the UK variant is worrying. This particular mutation seems to be the main one that is responsible for the vaccine-escape properties. This mutation is already present in both the Brazilian and South African variants.


No comments so far.

Be first to leave comment below.

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Ús de cookies

Aquest lloc web utilitza cookies perquè vostè tingui la millor experiència d'usuari. Si continua navegant està donant el seu consentiment per a l'acceptació de les esmentades cookies i l'acceptació de la nostra política de cookies, punxi l'enllaç per a major informació. ACEPTAR

Aviso de cookies