Ground Report | New Delhi: Another new COVID variant; A COVID-19 variant found for the first time in South Africa may be more contagious than other mutations – and may have the potential to become resistant to vaccines.
The C.1.2 strain has been linked to “increased transmissibility” and is said to have most likely mutated from the original virus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Mirror reported.
According to experts from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation, the strain has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year, nearly double the global mutation rate seen in any other extant variant of concern, or VOC.
The number of C.1.2 genomes in South Africa has increased from 0.2 percent in May to 1.6 percent in June and 2 percent in July, according to scientists who have found 14 mutations in nearly 50 percent of the variants that contain the C.1.2 sequence.
Another new COVID variant
The C.1.2 strain has also been found in the UK, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland. The latest South African variant may be able to evade antibodies and the immune system, the researchers said, while additional research is needed.
“We describe and characterize a newly identified SARS-CoV-2 lineage with multiple spike mutations, most likely to emerge in a major metropolitan area of South Africa after the first wave of the pandemic, and then within two to several has spread in places. neighboring provinces,” the researchers wrote in the report, which was published in the journal “Nature.”
“We found a disproportionately high rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with the second dose compared to the non-vaccinated group,” reported The Mirror, Professor Adi Stern from Tel Aviv University in Israel. “This means that the South African version is capable of, to some extent, breaching the protection of the vaccine.”