New Delhi: The COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German biotechnology company BioNTech can neutralise variants of the novel coronavirus that were first reported in the UK and South Africa, a new study suggests.
The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, noted that the vaccine is effective against coronavirus variants carrying the N501Y and E484K mutations.
According to the scientists, including those from the University of Texas in the US, these variants have a substitution of the amino acid building blocks that make up the viral spike protein — the part of the virus which enables it to enter human cells.
They said these mutations in the 501st and 484th positions of the protein’s amino acid molecule chain appeared in the UK and the South African variants, and could potentially increase the affinity of the viral spike for the receptor on the human cell through which the virus enters cells.
In particular, they said the N501Y mutation may also expand the range of hosts the virus can infect to include mice.
In the current study, the scientists, Pei-Yong Shi and his colleagues engineered combinations of mutations found in these circulating variants and tested a panel of human sera from 20 participants.
They said the sera were obtained from their clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine obtained two or four weeks after immunisation with two doses spaced three weeks apart.
When they tested the serum against the coronavirus strains, the authors found evidence of neutralisation of the mutant viruses by the sera panel, with slight variation.
According to the scientists, neutralisation against the E484K mutation was slightly lower than that against the N501Y mutation.
Commenting on the research, virologist Lawrence Young from the University of Warwick in the UK, said the findings confirm previous studies indicating that the Pfizer vaccine is very likely to be effective against the UK variant.
It shows that the mutations found in the South African variant reduced the efficiency of virus neutralisation by 50 per cent but only in six out of the 20 sera examined, said Dr Young, who was not related to the study.
Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, the University of Nottingham in the UK, also noted that the findings are promising.
This is important work and provides reassurance that the antibody response generated by the Pfizer vaccine is able to neutralise coronavirus genetically engineered to carry some of the mutations seen in the variants of concern first identified in the UK and South Africa, Mr Ball, who was also unrelated to the study, said in a statement.
However, we suspect that the effects of these mutations can be influenced by mutations occurring in other parts of the spike protein, so it will be important to validate these promising findings using viruses engineered to carry all of the mutations found in each variant, he added.
Due to the ongoing evolution of the coronavirus, the study authors called for continuous monitoring of vaccine efficacy for emerging variants.
(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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.
|Jammu And Kashmir|
|Dadra And Nagar Haveli|
|Andaman And Nicobar Islands|
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22 Per Cent Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation, Lack Of Digital Knowledge Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
Depression Can Be Classified As Serious Illness In Context Of COVID-19 Pandemic: Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court set aside the cancellation of registration and admission of an engineering student by a government college...
U.N. Says World Likely To Miss Climate Targets Despite COVID Pause In Emissions
There is now a 40 per cent chance that the average global temperature in one of the next five years...
Make The Choices That Help Make A Difference, John Kerry, Special US Envoy On Climate Change Crisis
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, US climate envoy John Kerry talks about climate change emergency
Climate Change Biggest Global Challenge, India Committed To Combat It: Union Environment Minister
Speaking at the launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) under India-US Climate Clean Energy Agenda 2030, Union...
Rajasthani Artisan Creates Ganesh Idols From Environment-Friendly Materials
Unlike idols made out of synthetic materials which cause harm to water bodies after their immersion, eco-friendly idols that artist...