Delta Plus, New COVID Variant Identified, Experts Say No Cause Of Concern For Now

Delta Plus, New COVID Variant Identified, Experts Say No Cause Of Concern For Now

Delta variant, a SARS-CoV-2 variant which was first found in India has been declared as variant of concern at a global level by the World Health Organisation
Coronavirus Outbreak, News
- in Coronavirus Outbreak, News
0
Delta Plus, New COVID Variant Identified, Experts Say No Cause Of Concern For NowAccording to a government study, Delta variant of novel coronavirus is dominant in India
Highlights
  • Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has mutated to ‘Delta plus' or ‘AY.1' variant
  • Delta or B.1.617.2 variant of novel coronavirus was first found in India
  • Delta variant is one of the drivers of the second wave of COVID in India

New Delhi: The highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has mutated further to form the ‘Delta plus’ or ‘AY.1′ variant but there is no immediate cause for concern in India as its incidence in the country is still low, scientists here said. The new Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. Though there is no indication yet of the severity of the disease due to the new variant, Delta plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19 recently authorised in India.

Also Read: Delta Variant 60 Per Cent More Transmissible, Reduces Vaccine Effect: UK Experts

One of the emerging variants is B.1.617.2.1 also known as AY.1 characterized by the acquisition of K417N mutation, Vinod Scaria, clinician and scientist at Delhi’s CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), tweeted on Sunday (June 13).

The mutation, he said, is in the spike protein of SARS-COV-2, which helps the virus enter and infect the human cells. According to Public Health England, 63 genomes of Delta (B.1.617.2) with the new K417N mutation have been identified so far on the global science initiative GISAID. In its latest report on coronavirus variants, updated till last Friday, the health agency said Delta plus was present in six genomes from India as of June 7.

Also Read: Delta Variant Counted For 60 Per Cent Of Delhi COVID-19 Cases In April: Study

The variant frequency for K417N is not much in India at this point in time. The sequences are mostly from Europe, Asia and America, Mr Scaria wrote on Twitter.

The earliest sequence of this genome was found in Europe in late March this year. Noting that the travel histories for the variant are not readily available to make assumptions, Mr Scaria said an important point to consider regarding K417N is the ‘evidence suggesting resistance to monoclonal antibodies Casirivimab and Imdevimab’. This cocktail recently received emergency-use authorization in the country from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. Drug majors Roche India and Ciplas have priced the antibody cocktail at a steep Rs 59,750 per dose.

Also Read: Coronavirus Strain Found In India, B.1.617 Named “Delta Variant”: WHO

Similar to antibodies which are proteins that the body naturally produces to defend itself against the disease, monoclonal antibodies are artificially created in a lab and tailor-made to fight the disease they treat. Casirivimab and Imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies that are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, and designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells.

Mr Scaria also indicated the mutation may be associated with the ability to escape the immune response against the virus. Allaying fears, immunologist Vineeta Bal noted that while there may be some setback in the use of commercial antibody cocktail due to the new variant, resistance to the therapy is not an indication of higher virulence or severity of a disease.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explainer: What Is Antibody Cocktail And How Does It Help In Coronavirus Treatment?

How transmissible this new variant is will be a crucial factor to determine its rapid spread or otherwise, Ms Bal, guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, told PTI.

She also noted that the quality and quantity of neutralising antibodies, responsible for defending cells from pathogens, generated in the individual infected with the new variant is unlikely to be affected because of the mutation.

Thus in individuals catching infection with the new variant, it may not be a matter worth worrying, she added.

Pulmonologist and medical researcher Anurag Agrawal concurred.

There is no cause of concern due to the new variant in India as of now, Mr Agrawal, the director of CSIR-IGIB, told PTI.

Also Read: B.1.617 Variant Of SARS-CoV2 Drove Surge In The COVID-19 Cases In Last 2 Months

The scientist said the blood plasma from many fully vaccinated individuals will have to be tested against this variant to determine whether it shows any significant immune escape. As the Delta variant continues to evolve and acquire new mutations, there is a lot of interest in understanding its evolution. He said SARS-CoV-2 has a nearly constant rate of acquiring genetic variants, and each variant has acquired additional variants in a stepwise fashion.

Understanding this continued evolution is of great importance in mapping the evolutionary landscape of emerging variants. Largely the virus has tried to optimise for transmission and immune escape by step-wise acquisition of new mutations, he added.

Also Read: Unplanned Vaccination Can Promote Mutant Strains Of Coronavirus: Health Experts In Report To PM

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,89,21,889Cases
6,44,02,340Active
13,02,83,678Recovered
42,35,871Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
4,04,9588,760Active
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90

Kerala

34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118

Karnataka

29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42

22,763

West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12

Delhi

14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95

25,054

Chhattisgarh

10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3

Odisha

9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67

Rajasthan

9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25

8,954

Gujarat

8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10

10,513

Haryana

7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1

Bihar

7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71

9,644

Telangana

6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2

Punjab

5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63

16,294

Assam

5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19

Jharkhand

3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38

5,129

Uttarakhand

3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1

Goa

1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2

Puducherry

1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92

1,795

Manipur

99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12

Tripura

79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292

755

Meghalaya

65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13

Chandigarh

61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3

811

Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3

Mizoram

40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3

Nagaland

28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4

Sikkim

26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1

Ladakh

20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650

15 9

10,631 9

4

Lakshadweep

10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,539

6 1

7,404 1

129

Coronavirus Outbreak: Full CoverageTesting CentresFAQs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Increased Risk Of Heart Attack, Stroke In First Two Weeks Following COVID-19: Lancet Study

The study published in the Lancet journal compared the occurrence of acute myocardial infarction or heart attack, and stroke in 86,742 COVID-19 patients with 3.48lakh control individuals in Sweden from February 1 to September 14, 2020