Science

Another Covid-19 variant with worrying set of mutations found in UK: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 16, 2021

File photo   -  REUTERS

‘We don’t yet know how well this (new) variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted’

University of Edinburgh researchers have revealed that another coronavirus variant with a worrying set of mutations has been observed in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported.

The variant, called B1525, has been identified through genome sequencing in 10 countries including Denmark, the US, and Australia. Britain has so far reported 32 cases of this variant.

Also read: New study finds 7 Covid-19 variants in US, carrying same mutation

The researchers have said in their study, published in the covlineages.org report, that the earliest sequences of this variant were dated to December 2020 and sprung in the UK and Nigeria.

The team found that the variant has similarities in its genome to the Kent variant, B117. However, this new variant contains a number of mutations that have made researchers apprehensive.

This includes the E484K mutation, also found in the South African variant — to the spike protein — a protein found on the outside of the virus that plays an important role in helping the virus to enter cells.

Also read: Most people have natural immunity against Covid-19, study finds

Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said, as cited in the Guardian report: “We don’t yet know how well this (new) variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted.”

He added: “I think that until we know more about these variants, any variants which carry E484K should be subject to surge testing as it seems to confer resistance to immunity, however that is generated.”

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Published on February 16, 2021
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