BREAKING NEWS
Source: Lambda Variant  Jul 31, 2021  3 months ago
BREAKING! Japanese Researchers Warn Lambda Variant Is Extremely Lethal And Next Surge Will Be Bad. Prospective Mu and Nu Variants Identified!
BREAKING! Japanese Researchers Warn Lambda Variant Is Extremely Lethal And Next Surge Will Be Bad. Prospective Mu and Nu Variants Identified!
Source: Lambda Variant  Jul 31, 2021  3 months ago
Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Tokai University, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kobe University, University of Miyazaki , Osaka University, National Institute of Infectious Diseases-Tokyo  and the National Institute of Genetics-Japan based on a new study conducted have concluded that the Lambda variant is to date the most lethal variant to ever emerge and various global centres involved with genomic monitoring are warning that the variant is fast spreading globally and becoming prevalent and might be the dominant variant in the next surge.

The study team says that the spike protein of the Lambda variant is more infectious and it is attributed to the T76I and L452Q mutations. The RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation, a unique 7-amino-acid deletion mutation in the N-terminal domain of the Lambda spike protein, is responsible for evasion from neutralizing antibodies. Since the Lambda variant has dominantly spread according to the increasing frequency of the isolates harboring the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation, the study data suggest that the insertion of the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation is closely associated with the massive infection spread and increased mortality of the Lambda variant in South America.
 
The study findings were published on a preprint server and are currently being peer reviewed. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.28.454085v1
 
In a separate development, global researchers have identified two new concerning variants exhibiting concerning mutations and also demonstrating unique characteristics in those infected with it. The variants were separately discovered in two different South-East Asian countries and could very well be the next Mu and Nu VOCs.  Details of the findings of these two new variants are expected to be announced sometime the coming week by virology experts in the UK and also US. TMN is unable to provide more details as both countries have strict laws concerning divulgence of anything with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Due to rapid mutations, the continual emergence of several SARS-CoV-2 variants have been reported, among which some are regarded to be variants of concern (VOC), e.g., Alpha, Beta, and Delta. Other variants are known as variants of interests (VOI), e.g., Eta, Kappa, Lambda, and Iota. As a result, researchers keep an eye on the prevalence of these variants since they may pose a global threat.
 
Numerous SARS-CoV-2 variants more harmful than the original SARS-CoV-2 strain that first emerged in Wuhan-China and what is sometimes referred to as the original wildtype strai n.
 
It has been found that multiple mutations are present in the Spike (S) protein of VOCs and VOIs, and these variants have been reported to be resistant to the neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) that were elicited post-vaccination or post-natural COVID-19 infection.
 
Because the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2’s S protein is immunodominant, a mutation in this site causes immune evasion. Also, mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD) aid viruses in escaping neutralization.
 
Hence, to date, all the vaccines that received emergency use authorization (EUA) from various regulatory bodies are targeted towards the Spike protein.
 
Not all mutations disrupt the effectiveness of the vaccine-induced immune responses. For example, previous research has shown HV69-70 deletion does not have any effect on the sensitivity of neutralizing antibodies sensitivity, however, it increases viral infectivity.
 
Also the deletion of the LAL242-244 in the Beta variant does not affect the sensitivity to the vaccine-induced neutralization. However, it has shown little resistance to NTD-targeting neutralizing antibodies.
 
These previous studies reveal that all mutations do not necessarily have negative effects on the efficacy of vaccines.
 
The newly emerged Lambda variant belongs to the C.37 lineage, which has been newly designated as a VOI on June 14, 2021, by WHO.
 
This variant is predominantly spreading in South American countries that include Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Ecuador.
 
Concerningly, according to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) database, the Lambda variant has been reported in 28 countries worldwide as of today.
 
Interestingly the rate of vaccination has been notably high in Chile.


Lambda variant exhibits higher infectivity and immune resistance

A recent study conducted in Chile has shown that around 60% of the population has received at least a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
 
However, recently, during the spring of 2021, a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases was observed in Chile. This is because the Lambda variant is capable of escaping the immune responses induced via vaccination.

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The study team used molecular phylogenetic analysis to study the evolutionary trait of the Lambda variant.


The virological and immunological features of the Lambda variant

Importantly the study team has revealed that insertion of RSYLTPGD246- 253N mutation in the NTD of the Lambda S protein is associated with the increased virulence. This mutation is responsible for the rapid spread of the Lambda variant in the Southern American countries.
 
The study team have indicated two of the critical virological features of the Lambda variant, namely, a) resistance to viral-induced immune responses due to the RSYLTPGD246- 253N, L452Q, and F490S mutations and b) enhancement in the rate of transmission due to the T76I and L452Q mutations.
 
Alarmingly the study findings revealed that the Lambda S is more resistant to the vaccine-induced antisera compared to the Lambda+N246-253RSYLTPGD S derivative.
 
Also another important aspect of this is that RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation overlaps with a component of the NTD “supersite” indicating that it is the immunodominant site.
 
The mutation of this site has enabled the Lambda variant to escape immune responses elicited by the COVID-19 vaccine.
 
The detailed comparative study between the parental D614G S strain and the Lambda variant has shown significantly higher infectivity in the latter viral strain.
 
The study findings are in line with previous studies that had revealed that higher infectivity of the Lambda, Delta and Epsilon variants is due to the L452Q/R mutation.
 
Researchers have explained that only increased viral infectivity does not attribute to a large-scale infection. Such an instance was observed for the Epsilon variant, where even after possessing high infectivity, it failed to spread in the human population. Thereby, WHO excluded it from the VOC/VOI classification on July 6, 2021.
 
However in order to understand if a variant would infect a large number of people, it is essential to determine two characteristic virological features of the variant, i.e., increased viral infectivity and evasion from the immune response. This study alarmingly revealed that the Lambda variant possesses both these virological features.
 
The Japanese study finding has elucidated the evolutionary trend of the Lambda variant using molecular phylogenetic analyses and virological experiments. Even though the Lambda variant has been classified as VOI, the researchers have highlighted the potential of this variant to cause a catastrophic epidemic in the future.

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For more on the Lambda Variant, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.
 
Read Also: https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news-forget-about-delta-variant,-new-fast-spreading-lambda-variant-is-vaccine-proof-and-guarantees-that-most-will-develop-disease-severity-an
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/variant-warning-scientist-urged-to-pay-extra-surveillance-to-emerging-third-and-fourth-generation-variants-of-the-delta,-gamma-and-lambda-strains
 
 
 

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