Just a few months after the pandemic began by SARS-COV-2, vaccines against this virus entered the scene. However, the distribution of papers included other actors, the variants, whose mission was to continue maintaining tension: alpha, beta, gamma, delta ... concentrate the attention of scientists from all over the world and health authorities. Precisely this week, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in South Africa (NICD) has warned of a new, called 'c.1.2'. How does the current panorama change? Will it move the others?
Variant C.1.2 was first identified in May in South Africa. Specifically, in the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga, although it has already been extended to the nine provinces of the country. However, it has also been found in New Zealand, Mauritius, Portugal or Switzerland.
Under the latest data available, it seems that variant 'c.1.2' represents less than 1% of COVID-19 cases around the world. In any case, the experts of the NiCD and the sequence platform and KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation believe that the prevalence is probably undervalued.
Actually, the concern of scientists is that a variant may appear, apart from spreading quickly, be able to dodge the shield of vaccines.
At the moment, the authors of the study who handles NiCD indicate that this variant has had multiple changes in a protein associated with increasing transmissibility and evasion of the effect of vaccines. However, the work has not yet been reviewed or validated with all the criteria that an investigation requires to extract firm conclusions. In fact, those responsible for the analysis urge continuing to examine this issue to determine with reliability if 'c.1.2' could be more dangerous than the Delta variant.
According to the report of the NICD, "The rate of mutation of lineage 'c.1.2' is 1.7 times faster than the global rate", which generates a certain "concern". And precisely because of this concern, the authors decided to bring out their findings, before the work was revised at peers, since at times of pandemic, it is "crucial sharing information, better rather than later".
What has been seen is that 'c.1.2' shares some mutations with other variants, such as the Delta (originated in India) or Beta (last year in South Africa), but it has other unique.
As registered at the Telematics Wheel, the scientist of the NiCD Cathrine Scheepers, the new variant presents "up to 59 mutations, which are many", if you take into account that other variants usually have "about 25". However, Scheepers pointed out that "right now we do not know" if it is more transmissible. Scientists continue to do experiments to find out more about it.
For the World Health Organization (WHO), despite its ability to mutation, "'c.1.2' is not a" worrying variant "or" of interest ".
In the words of experts from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, "we suspect that it could partially evade the immune response, but despite this, vaccines will continue to offer high levels of protection against hospitalization and death."
In this sense, another of the experts of the NICD, Adrian Pure, assured from the press conference that vaccines currently used in South Africa (Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer) are "effective" before the 'c.1.2', so there is no Reason for "panic". In fact, he added, "the pandemic in South Africa remains dominated by the delta variant."
To respond to this issue, before the capabilities of said variant should be taken before. At the moment, it is not predominant and in addition, it is upgraded, according to experts, that the expert is that "new variants develop as a natural evolution of the virus".Updated Date: 05 September 2021, 01:04