The new variant of the corona virus that was found is claimed to be stronger
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA- Virus variant corona recently detected in the UK, Nigeria, and 11 other countries, including the US. This was revealed by a report by researchers at the University of Edinburgh.
The variant, dubbed B.1.125, contains a mutation in the viral spike protein, which allows the new coronavirus to bind to and enter human cells.
Scientists are concerned that because of this mutation, known as E484K, the current vaccine may be less effective against this new variant. This mutation also appears in a variant of the corona virus that has previously been found in South Africa and Brazil.
This variant also appears in some samples of the British variant known as B.1.1.7. Researchers think that the E484K mutation could help the virus avoid so-called neutralizing antibodies, which bind to the virus and prevent it from infecting cells.
A professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, Simon Clarke, said the E484K mutation made the South African variant resistant to some vaccines, and he fears the new variant might also be somewhat resistant.
“We don’t yet know how well this (new) variant will spread, but if it does it can be assumed that immunity from previous vaccines or infections will decrease,” Clarke said.
According to the CDC, variants of the new coronavirus from South Africa, Britain and Brazil appear to be more contagious than the original coronavirus strain. But that hasn’t been proven true for this new variant.
“There is currently no evidence that this sequence of mutations causes more severe disease or increased transmission,” said Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England (PHE), in a statement.
As of February 17, 46 cases of the new variant have been confirmed in the UK, according to government documents. B.1.125 was first detected in a sample of people with Covid-19 in Nigeria in December 2020, according to a University of Edinburgh report.
Although PHE noted in a blog post that an investigation was ongoing to confirm its country of origin. The University of Edinburgh report also noted that as of February 17, the variant had been detected in 12 cases in the United States.