lørdag 17. april 2021

'Double mutant': What are the risks of India's new Covid-19 variant

A new "double mutant" variant of the coronavirus has been detected from samples collected in India. Scientists are checking if the variant, where two mutations come together in the same virus, may be more infectious or less affected by vaccines.

Like all viruses, the coronavirus keeps changing in small ways as it passes from one person to another. The vast majority of these mutations are inconsequential and don't alter the way the virus behaves.But some mutations trigger changes in the spike protein that the virus uses to latch on to and enter human cells - these variants could potentially be more infectious, cause more severe disease or evade vaccines. Vaccines against respiratory pathogens like SARS-Cov2, the virus that causes Covid-19, protect us by stimulating our bodies to make antibodies. The best type to protect us are the "neutralising antibodies" because they block the virus from being able to enter the human cells.