New Study: Lambda Variant is More Infectious and Immune to Covid-19 Vaccine

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#COVID-19 Researchers in Japan discovered new facts about Lambda variant. Similar to Delta, the Lambda variant may be more infectious and immune to the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a preprinted study that has not yet been peer reviewed, it was shown that the Lambda variant is able to pass neutralizing antibodies that can fight the virus.

The researchers say there are a number of mutations found in the spike protein or spike protein Lambda variant, which makes it more resistant to antibodies than people who have been vaccinated.

Robert Quigley, MD, DPhil, senior vice president and global medical director at International SOS told Verywell that the findings are not surprising, but should be viewed critically.

"We're seeing a trend that the scientific community predicts, that the longer Covid-19 is left unchecked, the more likely we are to move toward a reduced vaccine efficacy against the coronavirus," Quigley said.

Reporting from Verywell Health, Wednesday (4/8/2021), the researchers did not specify whether the Lambda variant is more dangerous than the Delta.

However, they underlined, because the Lambda variant was included by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the category of variant of interest (VoI) instead of variant of concern (VoC), people might not perceive the Lambda variant as a threat.

As is known, variant of concern is a variant of the corona virus that is considered by WHO to threaten global health because it is proven to be more easily transmitted, causes more severe disease, and can avoid vaccine protection or treatment effectiveness.

Until now, there are 4 variants of Covid-19 that have entered the VOC, namely the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), Beta variant (B.1.351), Gamma variant (P.1), and Delta variant (B.1.617.2). .

Meanwhile, variants of interest (VoI) are variants with specific genetic markers that are associated with changes in receptor binding, reduced neutralization by antibodies, reduced treatment efficacy, to prediction of increased transmission or disease severity.

According to the study, the virological features of Lambda and how they evolved are not yet clearly understood. Another study also found that the Delta variant showed some degree of resistance to the Covid-19 vaccine.

"Nobody wants a virus that has the ability to spread faster and is resistant to vaccines. It's worrying," Quigley said.

He added that it meant scientists would need to develop new vaccines when we find evidence of that.

"The good news is, we're not there yet," he said.

WHO said the Lambda variant was initially detected in Peru in August 2020 and has since been reported in 29 countries worldwide, mostly in Latin America, including Argentina and Chile.

” On June 14, the variant assigned to the Pango lineage (naming) C.37, clade GISAID GR/452Q.V1, clade NextStrain 20D, designated global VOI, and labeled by WHO as Lambda," said WHO.

How does a virus become vaccine-resistant?

virus, or virus variant, can become vaccine-resistant if it mutates. Mutations occur naturally as long as the virus has a host (a person) to reproduce. infect and transmit infection.

Although not all mutations are resistant to vaccines, mutations sufficiently different from the original strain of the virus may not be neutralized by the appropriate antibodies.

This is worrying not uncommon, Quigley said, adding that scientists also update influenza vaccines to target new mutations every year.

Although not all mutations are vaccine-resistant, mutations sufficiently different from the original strain of the virus may not be neutralized by the appropriate antibody.

This is worrying, but not uncommon, Quigley said adding that scientists also update influenza vaccines to target new mutations every year.

He said this decision was made by the international health agency, which is working with the CDC to decide what strains of influenza are circulating and how to fight them with vaccines.

"If the virus survives longer, assembling a similar panel to survey mutations and develop the next Covid-19 vaccine will be important," he added.

He continued, booster injections or variant-specific vaccines are also important considerations going forward. (bnj)