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Coronavirus Outbreak

‘Eris’ Covid Variant Better At Escaping Immunity Than Other Strains: Lancet Study

The study found that that EG.5.1 is not more infectious than its predecessors, meaning it cannot infect host cells more effectively

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A part of our immune protection relies on neutralising antibodies that are produced by the cells of our immune system after vaccination or infection.

New Delhi: The EG.5.1 variant of SARS-CoV-2 can escape neutralising antibodies better than other currently circulating strains, giving it an advantage in infecting vaccinated or previously infected people, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. However, the researchers found that the increase in the ability to escape antibodies is rather moderate and by no means sufficient to completely undermine our immunity that has been established through hybrid immunity. The team including researchers from the German Primate Center in Gottingen, Germany examined the characteristics of the Eris sublineage EG.5.1.

Also Read: Moderna’s Updated COVID Vaccine Effective Against ‘Eris’ Variant In Humans

They found that EG.5.1 is not more infectious than its predecessors, meaning it cannot infect host cells more effectively.

However, EG.5.1 can escape immunity better than other currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, giving it an advantage in infecting individuals whose immune systems have produced neutraliSing antibodies after vaccination or infection, the researchers said.

A part of our immune protection relies on neutralising antibodies that are produced by the cells of our immune system after vaccination or infection.

These antibodies attach to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, preventing the virus from entering into our cells. This mechanism is also referred to as neutralisation.

Also Read: Researchers Create New Rapid, Reliable Detection Method For Coronavirus

Since May this year, EG.5, including its descendant EG.5.1, has been on the rise in many countries. The lineage, classified as a “Variant of Interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO), is also referred to as Eris.

The study found evidence that an increased ability to escape from antibodies is the likely cause for the enhanced spread of Eris. Lu Zhang, the lead author of the study said,

We found that, in comparison to other currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, EG.5.1 does not possess an advantage in infecting host cells. However, further investigations revealed that EG.5.1 is less effectively neutralised by antibodies present in the blood of vaccinated individuals or vaccinated and infected individuals.

The experiments were conducted using viruses produced in the laboratory, known as pseudoviruses, for safety reason. Markus Hoffmann, lead scientist in the study, said,

In summary, our results suggest that the spread of EG.5 and its sublineages primarily relies on antibody escape rather than an enhanced ability to infect host cells. However, the increase in the ability to escape antibodies is rather moderate and by no means sufficient to completely undermine our immunity that has been established through vaccination or prior infection.

Also Read:“We Are Tracking Several COVID-19 Variants, Including EG.5,” Says WHO Director Dr Tedros

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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