Variant Warning: Scientist Urged To Pay Extra Surveillance To Emerging Third and Fourth Generation Variants Of the Delta, Gamma And Lambda Strains
Thailand Medical News
is warning scientists, medical researches, genomic experts and virologist to pay careful attention to the second, third and fourth generation variants emerging from the Delta, Gamma and Lambda lineages.
Currently the world is too engrossed simply on the VOCs or variants of concern and also vaccines but very little is focused on the emerging second, third and fourth generation variants of the Delta, Gamma and Lambda strains as many are simply assuming that the mutations taking place on these new variants are too minute or subtle to have any impact.
In reality the chances of a completely new super Omega variant emerging is lesser compared to a super strain emerging from the Delta, Gamma or Lambda variants.
Though spotting minute mutations or deletions etc, it is these minute changes that are most like to be the major game changes in these ongoing pandemic.
The Delta variant currently has two second generation variants ie Delta Plus or the AY.1 and the newly debuted AY.2.
The Delta Plus variant, also known as B.1.617.2.1 is sometimes considered a “subvariant” of the Delta version. It has a mutation that allows the virus to better attack lung cells and potentially escape vaccines.
First identified in India, Delta Plus has now been found in the U.S., U.K., and nearly a dozen other countries. India has labeled it a variant of concern, but the U.S. CDC and WHO have not done so as it also reflects negatively on the their vaccines as being inefficient to curtail these variants.
Unknown to many the AY.2 variant made a debut in the last few weeks but some scientist are saying that both AY.1 and AY.2 are unlikely to be major game changers in the COVID-19 pandemic.
However a new AY.3 variant has been identified as a new Delta sub-lineage and it is defined by ORF1a: I3731V common AY.1 mutations except for S: K417.
The AY.3 is primarily seen in the US with single reclassified cases in UK and India.
Also Thailand Medical News has received information that a number of third generation variants have arisen from the AY.1, AY.2 and AY.3 spotting minute but totally newer mutations never seen before in other variants or strains so far.
Though these are very extremely small in sequencings, scientists from INSACOG, a consortium of government panel involved in genome sequencing of coronavirus who discovered these new third and fourth generation variants of the Delta virus are still in the midst of studying them and deciphering these new mutations.
As the vaccine program is initiated in many countries but at a slow pace together with the introduction of various antibody based therapeutics, it is expected that more Delta and Lambda variants spotting more transmissible and virulent off shoots are likely to emerge that could end being the super variants that really change the course of the COVID 19 pandemic catastrophically.
Meanwhile in India the Delta Plus variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh, Surat in Gujarat, Faridabad in Haryana, Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Bikaner in Rajasthan, Patiala and Ludhiana in Punjab, Mysuru in Karnataka, Chennai, Madurai and Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
Indian Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told Thailand Medical News, "It has been estimated by INSACOG that the Delta Plus variant, which is currently a variant of concern (VOC), has the following characteristics ie increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response."
ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava commented on current vaccine efficacy, "Covishield reduces slightly with Alpha, by 2.5 times. For the Delta variant, Covaxin is effective but antibody response is slightly reduced to three-fold reduction, and for Covishield, it is two-fold reduction, while in Pfizer and Moderna it is seven-fold reduction!"
Meanwhile in Brazil , a more concerning second generation has appeared from the Gamma lineage carrying Spike mutations 141-144, N679K or P681H during persistent viral circulation in Amazonas. https://virological.org/t/emergence-and-spread-of-sars-cov-2-p-1-gamma-lineage-variants-carrying-spike-mutations-141-144-n679k-or-p681h-during-persistent-viral-circulation-in-amazonas-brazil/722
Another Gamma third generation variant from this above variant was identified in Tocantins represented by the harboring of the mutation L106F in ORF3a. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.30.450617v1
If one was to carefully study all the emerging variants spotting new mutations that could be of concern (More than a thirty-eight so far in the last 5 months alone although many have not grown in circulation dominance) it can be seen that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is aggressively evolving to become more transmissible and virulent contrary to comments by ignorant so called virologists claiming that the virus will ultimately weaken and die off! We must not also forget all the stupid virologist and experts in the beginning of the pandemic who made media comments that the virus was not mutating nor will it become more concerning ie more transmissible or even be able to evade immunity. We will be posting up a list of all these so called Western experts and the comments they made in the media soon as a reminder that people who are ignorant should not be making public comments despite they might hold some qualifications or positions!
Without any intention of causing undue panic, the emerging second, third and fourth generation variants are expected to cause more ongoing infection surges despite the presence of the COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic is expected to be ongoing for the next few years. The intensity of casualties and infection rates are expected to increase with every new surge until a super variant finally emerges that will help eradicate a sizeable amount of the human population unless an effective combination of antiviral therapeutics are identified or developed or accepted in time.
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