Connect with us

Coronavirus Outbreak

New Variant (C.1.2) Of Coronavirus May Be More Infectious, Evade Vaccines: Study

Scientists from National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa said the potential variant of interest, C.1.2, was first detected in the country in May this year

New Variant (C.1.2) Of Coronavirus May Be More Infectious, Evade Vaccines: Study
Highlights
  • Scientists said the variant was first detected in South Africa in May
  • The new variant has more mutations than other variants of concern: Expert
  • C.1.2 has mutated substantially compared to C.1 lineage of Covid: Expert

New Delhi: A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which cause COVID-19, has been detected in South Africa and many other countries globally which could be more transmissible and evade protection provided by vaccines, according to study. Scientists from National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa said the potential variant of interest, C.1.2, was first detected in the country in May this year.

Also Read: COVID-19 Bigger Blood Clot Threat Than Vaccines, UK Study Finds

C.1.2 has since been found in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland as of August 13, they said. According to the yet-to-be peer-reviewed study posted on the preprint repository MedRxiv on August 24, C.1.2 has mutated substantially compared to C.1, one of the lineages which dominated the SARS-CoV-2 infections in the first wave in South Africa.

The new variant has more mutations than other variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) detected worldwide so far, the researchers said. They noted that the number of available sequences of C.1.2 may be an underrepresentation of the spread and frequency of the variant in South Africa and around the world.

The study found consistent increases in the number of C.1.2 genomes in South Africa each month, rising from 0.2 per cent of genomes sequenced in May to 1.6 per cent in June and then to 2 per cent in July.

This is similar to the increases seen with the Beta and Delta variants in the country during early detection, the authors of the study said.

According to the study, C.1.2 lineage has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year, which is about twice as fast as the current global mutation rate of the other variants. Virologist Upasana Ray noted that the variant is a result of numerous mutations accumulated in C.1.2 line in the spike protein which makes it a lot different than the original virus that was identified in Wuhan, China in 2019.

Also Read: Half Of Hospitalised Covid Patients Have Persisting Symptoms After A Year: Lancet Study

It could be more transmissible and has potential to spread fast. Since there are so many mutations in the spike protein, it could result in immune escape and thus a challenge for the vaccination drive worldwide if allowed to spread. Thus, controlling the transmission step itself by strictly cutting down the spread by following appropriately COVID-19 control measures is absolutely important, Ms Ray from Kolkata’s CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, who was not involved in the study told PTI.

Over half of the C.1.2 sequences have 14 mutations, but additional variations have been noticed in some of the sequences.

Though these mutations occur in the majority of C.1.2 viruses, there is additional variation within the spike region of this lineage, suggesting ongoing intra-lineage evolution, the authors of the study noted.

About 52 per cent of the mutations in the spike region of the C.1.2 sequences have previously been seen in other VOCs and VOIs. The spike protein is used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect and enter human cells, and most vaccines target this region. The mutations N440K and Y449H, which have been associated with immune escape from certain antibodies, have also been noticed in C.1.2 sequences.

While these mutations are not characteristic of current VOCs/VOIs, they have been associated with escape from certain class 3 neutralising antibodies, the authors wrote.

They noted that these mutations together with changes in other parts of the virus likely help the virus evade antibodies, and immune response, including in patients who have already developed antibodies for the Alpha or Beta variants.

While the phenotypic characteristics and epidemiology of C.1.2 are being defined, it is important to highlight this lineage given its concerning constellations of mutations, the authors added.

Also Read: What Are COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections? How Long Does Immunity Last After COVID-19 Vaccination? An Expert Explains

(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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Folk Music For A Swasth India

RajasthanDay” src=

Reckitt’s Commitment To A Better Future

Expert Blog

हिंदी में पड़े

Latest Posts