A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) inserts a Covid-19 test tube in a box at a driving test facility at the Alemany Farmers Market in San Francisco, California, Nov. 19, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Stanford researchers have identified five new cases of the newly discovered strain of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Doctors suspect they may be more contagious and possibly resistant to existing vaccines.
The new model originated in India, which is credited with a 55 percent increase in cases recently in Maharashtra, home of Mumbai after months of declining cases.
There are two major mutations, which scientists call E484Q and L452R, which are found separately in other species. But not all together in one strain, according to Dr. Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of the Stanford Clinical Virology Laboratory, discovered a new variant in the United States.
“There is ample data on how these mutations behave in viruses themselves. But not together, ”Pinsky said in an interview.
In other strains, the L452R mutation has been shown to make the virus more contagious. There is also evidence that the antibody does not recognize the mutation, which is found in other strains, to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The E484Q mutation was also shown to be less sensitive to neutralizing antibodies that help fight the coronavirus. It is too early to tell if mutations make the virus more contagious.
“But you would expect that in combination with L452R there could be an increased transmission, as well as a reduction in antibody neutralization,” Pinsky said.
If the mutation makes the virus more resistant to antibodies, that could reduce the effectiveness of both vaccines, including antibody treatment, becoming an essential tool for doctors in the fight against COVID-19, according to Pinsky.
“I suspect that existing vaccines will be slightly less effective in preventing infection from this new variant,” he said, “but all vaccines are very effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. “
Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab antibody treatment was shown to be less effective in treating strains with the E484Q or L452R mutation.U.S. Health regulators stopped distributing the antibody treatment last month by: Said it didn’t work for the new variant.
Double mutated variant “Mutations are known in the most frightening place to be mutations, which are receptor binding domains that viruses use to bind to cells in our bodies to enter,” said Peter Chin-Hong. Infectious disease experts said. At the University of California, San Francisco “Mutations are either surprisingly similar or similar to the different types of mutations that we know have been scientifically proven to be more capable of transferring and / or evading vaccines,” he said. Many believe this Indian breed will also have these superpowers. “
Tom Kenyon, Project HOPE chief health officer and former director of Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said scientists are experiencing more mutations, at least in part because the new CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky ordered. To add agencies Surveillance. “The more we look for them, the more we find them,” he said.
“There is something about the ‘double’ world that terrifies people and makes it look like it’s twice as bad, ‘said Kenyon in an interview. “Any mutation affecting the virus’s ability to transmit or replicate will be harmful.”
There is a possibility the new variant will be in the Bay Area, unlike the B.1.1.7 version from the UK that has become the superior species everywhere it goes, Chin-Hong said.
“If UK fighters enter the boxing ring with the British Indian breed, it could be a win. But only time will tell, ”said Shinhong.
The longer it takes to vaccinate the world, the more likely it is that the virus will mutate into a worse strain, CDC’s Walensky has warned of “impending sanctions” in the United States as states will lift restrictions. At Covid-19, she urges people to be vaccinated and to continue taking public health precautions, including wearing masks and practicing social isolation.
“The species that scare me most are those that have not yet been invented … the more viruses replicated, the more we will see these escaped mutants continue,” Chin-Hong said. We need equal vaccination around the world and continue to fight the exhaustion of pandemic pandemic.
California is set to lift most of the COVID restrictions by June 15, but plans to maintain the masked mandate are retained.