it contains 32 mutations, more resistant to vaccines

It’s alarm on new Covid variant found in Botswana. Named B.1.1.529 has at least 32 mutations of the spike protein that could increase its transmissibility and the ability to evade antibodies.

New variant would be more transmissible and more resistant to vaccines

According to reports from the Daily Mail, Francois Balloux, a geneticist at University College London, the variant would be emerged from a persistent infection in a patient immunocompromised, possibly suffering from undiagnosed AIDS.

In patients with weakened immune systems, infections can go on for months as the body is unable to fight them. This gives the virus time to acquire mutations that allow it to bypass the body’s defenses. Previously, British scientists argued that Kent’s ‘Alpha’ variant may have emerged in a similar way. Spike protein modifications make it difficult for vaccines to counter them as they train the immune system to recognize an older version of the virus.

Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College who first noticed its spread, has defined as “terrifying” the combination of mutations of the variant. He warned that B.1.1.529, is potentially “worse than any other variant”, including the dominant Delta. The good news, as explained by scientists at MailOnline, is that the unprecedented high number of mutations could make the virus “unstable” and prevent it from spreading. They stated that there are no fast transmission signals and therefore one should not be “excessively worried”.

It has already been identified in South Africa and Hong Kong as well

So far, three infections have been detected in Botswana, six in South Africa, where the surveillance of the variants is more effective and one in Hong Kong in a traveler returning from South Africa.

David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, said the Botswana variant raised concern because of the 32 mutations, a large number. “This increases the risk that it will evade the vaccine’s defenses, but it doesn’t mean it will happen. Furthermore, the infectivity of the strain is not clear and this too will be influenced by the structure of the spike protein ”.


mutations resistant vaccines

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