Tests in several countries, including European ones, have revealed a new variant coronavirusu. The mutation, referred to as C.1.2, is so far the most distant to the original virus from Chinese Wuhan. It is based on data from the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the Kwazul-Natal Platform for Sequencing and Research Innovation.
“We are describing a newly discovered SARS-CoV-2 line with several mutations in (genetic information about) S-protein, which appeared in the metropolitan area of South Africa after the first wave of the epidemic. It has now spread to several sites in two neighboring provinces. that this line has expanded rapidly and is becoming dominant in the three provinces at the same time as the disease has risen rapidly again, “ the scientists stated in their report.
A new South African coronavirus mutation, designated C.1.2, was first discovered in May this year. Since then, it has spread to most of the country’s provinces, but cases are already known in Europe and Asia.
He went furthest from the flood virus
As of August 20, according to the India TV News portal, 80 sequenced samples corresponding to variant C.1.2 were listed in the open GISAID database (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data).
This coronavirus variant evolved from variant C.1, which dominated South Africa last year during the first wave of the pandemic. Variant C.1.2. is 44 to 59 mutations away from the original coronavirus variant first detected in China last year.
Compared to the previous South African mutation, the new variant has mutated significantly. It is the most distant mutation in the virus ever discovered in Wuhan. The variant has the most submutations of all, namely 16. Other known variants have at most 14 to 15.
According to scientists, it has an extra “this branch of the virus is a disturbing set of mutations”. It also contains mutations, which are associated with high infectivity and resistance to antibodies, but scientists do not yet have enough data to determine how highly contagious and resistant to vaccination, Reuters reports.
Precisely because of the speed of mutation, this virus could be contagious even for people who have already overcome covid. According to scientists, variant C.1.2 is “associated with increased portability and reduced sensitivity of neutralization”. Thus, it will probably be more difficult for the human body to cope with this type of covid.
Still a small occurrence
However, this variant does not yet exist to such an extent that it can be classified as “variant of interest” or “worrying option”, such as the more contagious variants of delta (first unveiled in India) and beta, which appeared last year in South Africa.
At the same time, Europe is still struggling with the covid delta variant, which causes a loss of taste and smell, cough or fever. According to British researchers, more than half of those who contracted the mutation despite vaccination experienced “common” symptoms of covid-19.
Vaccination does not completely protect against infection. Even people who have completed the vaccination and become infected with the delta can transmit the coronavirus like those without the vaccination. This was reported by the British government health agency Public Health England. At the same time, however, it published data according to which 55.1 percent of patients with deltas hospitalized since July 19 were unvaccinated.
South Africa is one of the countries in Africa that has been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. In total, there have been more than 2.7 million cases and approximately 81,830 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. In South Africa, as in many other countries, the more contagious delta variant currently dominates, displacing the original local beta variant.