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"Two different mutations."  An alternative that slows down vaccines

“Two different mutations.” An alternative that slows down vaccines

We have lost count now but it is necessary to update ourselves with the latest wonderful variants that have been sequenced in different European countries and which originated in India, the country in which the highest number of cases have been found: We are talking about the variant Indiana From Covid-19.

Two important mutations

This new variant is under the magnifying glass of researchers and scientists because it features two variants Mutations In spike protein, the protein that allows SARS-Cove-2 virus to enter human cells, making it, in theory, more infectious and less susceptible to antibodies from vaccines currently on the market. “First of all, it is very prevalent in India but thank God that it is not in European countries, even in England it does not have a large presence, we are talking about less than 20%. In the United States it is less than 10%, in Switzerland and Germany, we are About 5-6% while in Italy we detected five sequences, so there are five cases in total, very, very few, ”said Professor Massimo. SecozyUniversity epidemiologist Campus Pio Medico Roma, an interview with ilgiornale.it. The new variant is denoted by initials B.1.617 and has the peculiarity in that it has a double mutation.

“ Compared to 501Y (English variant, edited) and 484K (South African variant, edited), it has two different mutations: one is L542R and the other is always 484 but not K, but Q: in this case it is glutamic acid that has been replaced by glutamine And it has no polar charge. Not having it means that it proves this mutation a little more, says Professor Secuzi. Those who seem to us to be just human are just simple shortcuts, in fact distinguish every single mutation of the virus that somehow makes it one way over the other. Double The mutation can worsen infections, and since the mutation in 484Q is always related to immune system evasion, vaccines may upset. However, there is still no significant data to suggest this, they are all assumptions. There is definitely a greater susceptibility to transmission of the virus in India, there is a close connection to the topic from an epidemiological point of view, ”explains the epidemiologist. Great Britain was one of the first countries to discover this because it sequenced 10% of all positives there randomly: when the variable was present The Indian is lower in percentage, not seen, and now that circulation is bigger, it has been serialized.

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What happens to vaccines

The ‘steps’ of the new Indian look can be seen in real time on the international portal The lineages of the banjo: Clicking on it opens a link with B.1.617 present in the countries where the sequencing was done. Even if, at present, it is only detected in Italy five times, what are the biggest problems with vaccination if this variant spreads further? “At the vaccine level, this double mutation can Nullify The antibody response to neutralizing antibodies – Ciccozzi tells us – is attention, however, because even T lymphocytes can recognize Spike. Thus, even if the neutralizing antibody activity decreases as observed on cells in vitro, T cells may still function. That is why it is believed that the Indian alternative has an effect on vaccines, but it is not that important. “

Here are the “killer” lymphocytes.

I T lymphocytesIn practice, they are responsible for active cell-mediated immunity against pathogens such as viruses and some bacteria. In this case, they compensate for the deficiency or insufficiency of neutralizing the antibodies, Professor Ciccozzi well explains. They are also long memory cells, also called “killer lymphocytes.” They define a type of cell-mediated immunity: As neutralizing antibodies circulate in our body, T lymphocytes (as well as B lymphocytes) are able to instantly select the antigen thanks to the presence of a receptor This is why it is so important and activated when it recognizes a foreign antigen, in this case the typical Covid spike protein, which produces a large amount of specific T lymphocytes for that antigen they are the most Important For the immune response. “

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Impact on the vaccination campaign

How can Effect In the vaccination campaign this alternative? “It absolutely does not affect in most ways: the Indian variant has a presence of about 5%, even less, and the English version has completely outdone it. It does not cause us any inconvenience or danger.” Then, as we said, although the double mutation of the Indian variant may affect the neutralization of the antibody, the T lymphocytes can recognize the viral spike protein and fight it quietly. “The cellular response of T lymphocytes does not appear to be affected by these mutations,” says Secuzi, pointing to all of the most important variants that are spreading, from English to South African to Hindi. Vaccine separation: We know there are those ads Rna (Pfizer and Moderna) and those glandular (AstraZeneca, J&J). Does the antibody response less against any of these or does it change nothing? “Nothing changes,” says an epidemiologist. The antibody response is not related to the type of vaccine. “But there is a truth: Pfizer and Modern are already working on a possible third dose by targeting mutations that Spike supports.”

Two months to “update” vaccines

Professor Ciccozzi anticipated what we were about to put it to him: of all variables in Indian trading, including the third Dosage also for those who have already been vaccinated with the first two? “Yes, of course it is possible and these are the booster doses, and this is the boost. Within two months, Pfizer and Moderna were able to remodel the RNA and produce a protein that contains the new mutations that our antibody system will work on against the protein. And they announced from Moderna that until the end of April, they will already have the results of their second phase experiments.

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Symptoms and duration

Regardless of the vaccines and the antibody response, we shift the focus to symptoms: Does the Indian variant cause something different from those already known? The expert’s answer is “no,” but the real good news is about lethality, even in this case it does not increase or cause greater anxiety. “In terms of lethality, no, we are always the same: being more infectious, people are infected with more viral particles. Those who get sick with any variant may have a longer illness: instead of becoming negative after 15-20 days, they become negative after a month. A little worse. ” The motivation lies in Larger Infection: Symptoms such as cough, cold, headache, sore throat, fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, fatigue, and fatigue, to name a few, are the same as always but are a little heavier. Ciccozzi adds: “On the level of symptoms, they are always the same, they do not change. They can worsen the clinical picture because because there are more viruses, the disease can have a longer course.”

Why do we have to “run” with the vaccination

How many variations did we count in a year? Many, thousands, and collected in about ten were distinguished by their properties. If we don’t rush, it might be the predominant English variant as well Replacement Another potentially dangerous variable. “Yes, if the virus continues to cause mutations, others will also arrive to replace the English variant. That is why we must vaccinate as quickly as possible to prevent the vaccine from selecting the variants in some way: that is, if a small number of people are vaccinated. The virus continues to mutate, and it risks being met. He is the same person who chooses a species, “he concludes.