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New mutation in Delta variant, how dangerous it is?

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The ‘Delta Plus’ variant was detected in six genomes from India as of June 7, according to Public Health England’s latest report on coronavirus variations

Ground Report | New Delhi: A new mutation has been reported in the Delta variant of covid-19 which is called ‘Delta plus’ or ‘AY.1’ but scientists and govt of India say there is no urgent cause for concern because the virus’s incidence is still low. Speaking to PIB on Tuesday  Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said “Delta variant played a major role in the 2nd wave.

An additional mutation of this variant, known as Delta Plus, has been detected & submitted to the global data system. It has been seen in Europe since March & was brought into the public domain on June 13.” He also said that this variant is not yet a variant of concern.

How was this new mutation generated?

The mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, initially found in India and one of the drivers of the catastrophic second wave has given rise to the new Delta plus variant. According to scientists, the B.1.617.2.1 or Delta Plus variation is defined by the acquisition of the K417N mutation. The alteration is in Sars-spike CoV-2’s protein, which aids the virus’s entry and infection of human cells, according to the researchers. As per this research, there are two types of K417N: one that is globally dispersed, and the other that is detected in genomic sequences submitted to worldwide science databases.

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Vinod Scaria, a Scientist at CSIR informed about the new variant on June 13  and tweeted “One of the emerging variants is B.1.617.2.1 also known as AY.1 characterized by the acquisition of K417N mutation and a  number of genomes are now available for the lineage AY.1 / B.1.617.2.1 from across the world. Moreover, the sequences are mostly from Europe, Asia, and America. The travel histories are not readily available to make assumptions.” he added.

Is Delta Plus as dangerous as Delta Variant?

The ‘Delta Plus’ variant was detected in six genomes from India as of June 7, according to Public Health England’s latest report on coronavirus variations. And Delta Plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19 that was recently approved in India. Yet there is no evidence of the severity of the disease caused by the new version.

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In the latest covid updates briefing on Tuesday Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said, ” this (Delta Plus) is a variant of interest. It has not yet been classified as a variant of concern. As per data available in the public domain, this variant nullifies the use of monoclonal antibodies. We will study & learn more about this variant.”

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