Scholars from United kingdom They identified a A new variant (with 1,525) of the Coronavirus With potentially disturbing mutations similar to those that have appeared in South Africa and Brazil. So far, the strain has been discovered in the area by researchers at the University of Edinburgh at 33 samples from December. Its circulation has also been recorded in other countries such as Denmark, Spain, Australia, Nigeria and the United States.
Although it is too early to specify the risks it poses, British experts did They study it carefully to determine whether or not it should be included in the list of “worrisome variables” UK wears.
Cambridge University professor Ravi Gupta, one of the scholars advising the government on the issue, said at 1,525: Some of the other variants have already observed “significant mutations” The expert said new information such as Kent (also from the UK), which is part of the information, is “reassuring in part because we can predict its potential impact.”
Among the mutations that have been discovered in this new variant, one is of particular concern to researchers, namely E484K Also present in the strains of Brazil and South Africa – which The virus can help evade some of the immune system’s defenses.
The fear, in this sense, is that the changes that arise from the new variants will not only make the virus spread more easily, but also spoil the effectiveness of existing vaccines. This is why scientists are conducting tests with formulas already applied around the world and developing, in turn, new technologies that take these mutations into account.
“We do not yet know how prevalent this (new) variable will be, but, if it succeeds, it can be assumed that immunity from any vaccines or previous infections will weaken.Dr Simon Clark, associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, cautioned. “I think any variant carrying (the E484K mutation) should undergo testing because it appears to confer resistance to immunity, regardless of how it is generated,” the specialist added.
Dr Lucy Van Dorp, from the Institute of Genetics at University College London, said the rapid detection of new variants is critical in the evolution of the epidemic. He noted that “one of the main advantages of genetic surveillance is early detection of strains of potential interest … to allow rapid assessment and evaluation of their impact and their spread to other regions of the world.”
In addition to warnings from specialists, Public Health England I kept this “There is currently no evidence that this group of mutations causes more severe disease or an increase in transmissibility.” However, he said, “data on emerging variables is closely monitored” and “public health interventions, such as additional testing and improved contact tracing, are being implemented.”