One of the recent mutations of the COVID-19 is the South Africa variant virus, which is expected by scientists. One concern is the changes in the virus that might bypass measures to isolate it.
South Africa Variant Virus and What to Know About This Strain
According to Dr. Richard Lessells, an infectious disease expert studying this latest strain of Sars-COV-2 stating viruses are expected to mutate and adapt to survive. The South African strain is not mutating rapidly as it moves from host to host more efficiently.
The 501Y.V2 detected in other countries besides where it originated from six countries like U.K., France, Switzerland, Japan, Austria, and Zambia have cases already told the World Health Organization. In contrast, the UK variant is more prevalent in 40 nations, reported ABC News.
One of the problems with the spread of the new strains of b.1.1.7 covid/ 501Y.V2 (501.V2) is that it escapes monitoring in most countries. It necessitates a comprehensive system that is non-existent. It allows the new strain more chances to infect more hosts. One hope is genome sequencing, which gives clues to it.
Genome of the South African Strain
They called the 501Y.V2 detected during investigations in viral mutations in South African labs. Technician unearthed the mutated strain in 200 samples taken from 50 labs.
Lessell's said that it had several adaptations or mutations that changed how well it attacked host cells. At least 20 mutations in the genome were detected during detections. Changes were seen at the hook part and the spike proteins of the virus. It has yet to be verified how well the South Africa Variant Virus allows takeover of the host cell by piercing its cell membrane.
One of the advantages of the 501Y variant is improving the virus's chances to multiply by infecting more viruses. More evidence points to the UK, and South African strains have better ways to spread and surface but need larger studies.
It might not cause several symptoms, but one fear is that a virus that infects hosts faster and spreads faster. This means more people infected and more cases, which can stress health resources more. These changes need to be studied and addressed to lessen fears about the strain.
Daniel Bridges, a Zambia-based public health researcher at the nonprofit PATH, said that the 501Y variant could be dangerous. Studies are still needed to determine it.
Bridges said a slight increase in spreading the virus versus a similar number of deaths compared to average virulence and same case number. This means more death by comparison.
How well will vaccines hold up against improve viral mutations
More vaccines are introduced into the market but can it foster immunity to 501Y.V2, Lessell's answers that the antibodies might not work. Vaccines that cannot stop the strain will be no more than a placebo. Having more vaccines might work, but no guarantee it will be sufficient. If only one works, it will be good enough that it will be better with less efficacy.
What's next for 501Y.V2?
Claims of efficacy by Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Branch testing said it might be useful it should be. There need to be more extensive studies to verify it.
The South Africa variant virus still has to be studied, comparing how it reacts to natural antibodies or vaccines.