A new variant, known as “Delta plus”, it got an extra mutation in the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This mutation was seen in 48 samples of infected people, from 45000 plus infected samples.
Know About The Delta Variant:
The more infectious and rapidly transmissible Delta variant has spread across the world and is in line to be the world’s dominant strain, according to the WHO.
This variant is the dominant strain that led to the second wave in India.
Research found that it can replicate faster, more easily spread, and bind more compactly to lung cell receptors.
How is the ‘Delta Plus’ variant different from its Former variant?
The novel mutation in the Delta variant was first detected in Europe in March.
Recently, COVID patients in our Country were also found with the mutant.
Some scientists fear the mutation may provoke dangerous wave again in India.
The mutation in the protein of the mutant virus known as “K417N” is not new, it has been earlier reported in the Beta variant which is first found in remote South Africa.
Role of vaccines against Delta plus:
According to the IHM, Delta plus might have a similar ability to attack the immunity and the ability to lower the effect of monoclonal antibody treatment modalities used in managing the COVID infection.
The mutation is bothersome as it is located on a key portion of the virus that is used to penetrate human cells.
For other previous viruses the mutations were on the receptor binding domain of the protein which allows the virus to clamp to the receptors in the cells.
The unique mutations in the Delta variant means the virus can escape the immune system to some extent. Delta has been shown to lower the efficacy of vaccines somewhat. This is clear that the single dose of vaccine may offer reduced protection.
Also, a second dose has been shown to produce enough antibodies against symptomatic infection and severe disease. We must remember, most COVID vaccines don’t provide absolute sterilizing immunity, but work to reduce the severity of the condition.
Some researchers found that Pfizer vaccine had an efficacy of 33 percent fighting against Delta after a single shot, and 88 percent after two consecutive doses. In the case of the AstraZeneca, the efficacy was 33 percent following the first dose but went up to 66 percent after the last i.e, the second dose.
The novel Delta Plus variant might have a similar reduction in efficacy against the vaccines currently in use.
Studies are in progress in India to better know the effectiveness of vaccines against Delta plus.
It is important to note Delta plus hasn’t yet taken off substantially, and the WHO hasn’t yet classified it as the variant of concern.
What to do right now?
The mutated Variants with increased transmissibility and the potential to escape antibodies might pose a danger to the efforts to control and change the pandemic. Unfortunately, the countries with low vaccination rates may see new outbreaks.
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