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New COVID variant may indicate antigenic escape

South Africa’s health minister announced on Thursday the discovery of a new coronavirus variant that appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country. Health Minister Joe Fara emphasized that the location of the first appearance of this variant (now called B.1.1.529) is currently unknown and has been detected so far in Botswana, South Africa. Said. Among travelers from South Africa to Hong Kong, Fara added. In a news briefing, genomics scientists said that mutants carry an unusually large number of mutations, with more than 30 major spike proteins (the structures used by the virus to obtain). Professor Tuliode Oliveira, director of the Epidemic Reaction and Innovation Center, said the variant “has more mutations than expected,” adding that it is “spreading.” It’s very fast and we expect to put pressure on the healthcare system in the coming days and weeks. He advised the general public to “try to avoid super-spreading events.” However, he added that it is premature to know how mutations affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. More studies need to be undertaken to understand the clinical severity of the mutant compared to previous variants, officials said. He added that laboratory studies still need to be conducted to test vaccine and antibody avoidance.

South Africa’s Health Minister announced on Thursday the discovery of a new coronavirus variant that appears to be rapidly prevalent in parts of the country.

“At first it looked like the emergence of several clusters, but since yesterday scientists at the Genome Surveillance Network have shown that we are observing new variants,” said Health Minister Joe Fara. He stressed that it is currently unclear where the variants are. -Currently called B.1.1.529-First appeared.

So far, it has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, and travelers from South Africa to Hong Kong, Fara added.

At a press conference, genomics scientists said the mutants had an unusually high number of mutations, with more than 30 mutations in the major peaplomer, the structure used to invade cells attacked by the virus.

Professor Trio de Oliveira, director of the Epidemic Response and Innovation Center, said the variant “has more mutations than expected” and “is spreading very rapidly and the next medical treatment. We expect to put pressure on the system, “he added. Days and weeks. “

He advised the general public, “Try to avoid super-spreading events.”

Authorities also expressed concern that mutations could lead to viral anti-immunity and increased infectivity, but it is time to know how mutations affect vaccine efficacy. He added that it was too early. More studies need to be undertaken to understand the clinical severity of the mutant compared to previous variants, officials said.

“The full importance of this variant is still uncertain, and the best tool we have is still the vaccine,” said De Oliveira. He added that laboratory studies still need to be conducted to test vaccine and antibody avoidance.

New COVID variant may indicate antigenic escape

Source link New COVID variant may indicate antigenic escape

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