Terrifying! ‘Immune Escape’ May be Happening

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University of Chile Scientists’ Study Indicates Sinovac’s Vaccine Elicits More Transmissible & Potent Variant called Lambda

The COVID-19 variant of concern (VoC) called C.37 or the “Lambda variant,” was probably first identified in Peru about one year ago, which fuels growing concern that mutations could overpower existing COVID-19 vaccines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that this mutant variant could not only boost transmissibility but also strengthen the pathogen’s resistance to vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies. It is not known yet what the impact of this variant will be, reports a new study, but the investigators do speculate that there could be a result of this viral adaptation to the CoronaVac vaccine, produced by the Chinese corporation Sinovac. 

That’s right: if this study is correct, the CoronaVac vaccine could be correlated to a mutation, one that’s led to a more transmissible and potent mutant. The authors suggest mass vaccination programs conducted directly in SARS-CoV-2 hotspots should be coupled with “strict genomic surveillance.”

Here’s a background on ‘Immune Escape’ – Structural Details of How SARS-CoV-2 Variants Escape Immune Response Detailed in New Study

Led by corresponding authors Ricardo Soto-Rifo and Fernando Valiente-Echeverría Laboratorio de Virología Molecular y Celular, Programa de Virología, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile, the yet to be published study titled “Infectivity and immune escape of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant of interest Lambda” is available on the preprint server medRxiv

It’s a short and readable article, but here is the terrifying bottom line:

Conclusions: Our results indicate that mutations present in the spike protein of the Lambda
variant of interest confer increased infectivity and immune escape from neutralizing antibodies
elicited by CoronaVac. These data reinforce the idea that massive vaccination campaigns in
countries with high SARS-CoV-2 circulation must be accompanied by strict genomic
surveillance allowing the identification of new isolates carrying spike mutations and
immunology studies aimed to determine the impact of these mutations in immune escape and
vaccines breakthrough

THE STUDY: Infectivity and immune escape of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant of interest Lambda

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