New Immune Escape Covid-19 Variant Found In West Bengal: Experts
Updated On Jul 15, 2021
According to the latest reports, a new immune escape Covid-19 variant has been found in West Bengal. After the B.1.617 "new mutant variant" found in more than 60% of cases sampled for genome sequencing in Maharashtra, a new lineage of the novel coronavirus has been found in the country.
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B.1.618, the new variant is known to possess a distinct set of genetic variants including E484K. Furthermore, it is being called a major immune escape variant, which can escape immunity even if a person has contracted the coronavirus before. It must be noted that the new immune escape Covid-19 variant possesses the ability to produce antibodies against it.
As per the scientists, the proportions of B.1.618 have been massively growing in West Bengal. Experts believe that even though the initial sequences of the variant were found in West Bengal, other parts of the world like the US, Switzerland, Singapore, and Finland have also witnessed members of this lineage. The variant was first found in a sample outside of India on April 22, 2020.
At least 129 of the 130 B.1.618 sequences in the country were found in samples from West Bengal. Presently, India has 62.5% of the B.1.618 variants reported across the globe. However, experts suggest that the lineages found here do not have a full complement of coronavirus variants as found in India.
According to experts, at present, there are many unknowns about this new lineage, including its capability to cause reinfections other than vaccine breakthrough infections. Additional experimental data is also required to assess the efficacy of vaccines against this newly found variant.
At the present time, there is no conclusive evidence that the lineage drives the epidemic in West Bengal, even if the numbers and proportions of novel coronavirus cases have been significantly increasing in the past few months.
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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.