The World Health Organization (WHO) has christened the Indian variant B.1.617. This represents about 15 mutations, with two of them, E484Q and L452R, concentrated in the spike of the virus, therefore, this strain would be a double mutant. It is the first time that two variants have been detected together and this could mean that B.1.617 is more contagious and more aggressive. In addition, it has already been confirmed that it is fast growing.
Coronavirus variants and mutations
Each coronavirus contains nearly 30,000 letters of RNA, and this genetic information allows the virus to infect cells and hijack them to create new viruses. But, as the virus infects a cell and creates new coronaviruses, it sometimes makes some mistakes in copying, which are called mutations. These mutations can be traced by scientists, since They are passed down through a lineage, which is a branch of the viral family tree.
Groups of coronaviruses that share the same inherited set of distinctive mutations, is called a variant. If several mutations overlap in the same lineage, the viruses develop marked differences in their activity, the so-called strains. COVID-19 is caused by a strain of coronavirus, SARS-Cov-2.
In the current course that the pandemic has taken, different variants of SARS-CoV-2 and some of them are raising serious concerns in terms of the application of some vaccines being less effective.
Delta, Kappa: lineage B.1.617
Lineage B.1.617 already carries more than a dozen mutations and it is called a double mutant, due to two mutations important, like the E484Q and the L452R.
E484Q is found in the same location as E484K, the Eek mutation, which helps the virus evade some types of antibodies. The L452R is also found in the B.1.429 variant, which was very popular in California.
Lineage B.1.617 has continued to evolve and has split into new lineages, including B.1.617.1, known as Kappa and B.1.617.1 known as Delta.
The latter It has emerged as a fast growing virus, vastly outnumbering the other variants of concern. The dangerous Delta variant first appeared in October 2020, it is now the most common variant in India and has been detected in Great Britain, the United States and, recently, his presence was confirmed In Israel.
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