Scientists say the new covid version, which carries “extremely high numbers” of mutations, could trigger further waves of disease by ignoring the body’s defenses.
Only 10 cases in the three countries have been confirmed by genomic sequencing, but the differences have raised serious concerns among some researchers as too many mutations could help prevent the virus from developing immunity.
B.1.1.529 variant contains 32 mutations in the spike protein, part of the virus that most vaccines use to primate the immune system against covid. Mutations in spike proteins can affect the ability of viruses to infect and spread cells, but also make it harder for disease-resistant cells to invade pathogens.
The variant was first found in Botswana, where three cases have now been sorted. Another six have been confirmed South Africa, And a passenger returning from South Africa to Hong Kong.
Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, posted the details of the new edition. Genome-sharing website“The incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggests this could be a real concern.”
In A series of tweetsPeacock said that “because of that awful spike profile there is a lot to monitor,” but added that it could be a “unique cluster” that is not very transmissible. “I hope that’s the case,” he wrote.
Dr Mira Chand, Covid-19 event director in the UK Health The security forces have stated In partnership with scientific bodies around the world, the agency was constantly monitoring the evolution and development of SARS-Cove-2 variants worldwide.
“Because of the frequent and random mutations in the nature of the virus, it is not uncommon for a small number of cases to occur showing new sets of mutations. Any variants showing widespread evidence are evaluated quickly,” she said.
The first cases of the edition were collected in Botswana on 11 November, and were first recorded in South Africa three days later. Issue found in Hong Kong Before flying from Hong Kong to South Africa, there was a 36-year-old man who tested negative for PCR, where he stayed from October 22 to November 11. After returning to Hong Kong, his test was negative, but on November 13, while in quarantine, he tested positive.
England No more red list Restrictions on foreign travelers. Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated should test negative before flying and arrange for two PCR tests upon arrival. Those who are fully vaccinated should test for covid within two days of landing.
Scientists are looking for a new version for any indication that it is gaining momentum and spreading more widely. Some virologists in the south Africa Are already concerned, especially given the recent rise in Gauteng, an urban area in Pretoria and Johannesburg, where B.1.1,529 cases have been found.
Ravi Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University, said Work in her lab Two mutations in B.1.1.529 were found to increase infection and decrease antibody detection. “This certainly seems to be a significant concern based on the mutations present,” he said. “However, the main characteristic of the unknown virus is its infectivity, as it appears to operate primarily on the Delta variant. Immune escape is only part of the picture of what can happen.”
Professor Francois Blocks, director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said that a large number of mutations in variants clearly accumulate in “single bursts”, which may have developed during a long-term infection in a person with a weakened immune system. Untreated HIV / AIDS patients.
“I definitely expect it to be weakly identified by neutralizing alpha or delta relative antibodies,” he said. “At this stage it is difficult to predict how much transmission will be possible. For now, it needs to be closely monitored and analyzed, but there is no reason to be too worried as it will increase in frequency in the near future.”