The second wave of infection may affect human behavior more than the new mutated strains COVID-19. But the combination of the two factors has proven to be catastrophic.
For a whole week, India said, Per day, On average 340,000 new cases Corona virus. On Wednesday, the death toll was more than 3,300. Many experts suspect the number could be even higher. Today, epidemics in the country are one-third of the worldwide record on a daily basis.
“The main factor for the spread of this virus is the behavior of the people. The spread of the virus is mainly due to our inattention. Variations only take advantage of our inattention,” explains Indian Director Rakesh Misra Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, CCMP (Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology of India) ).
This increase in cases COVID-19 It comes three months after the Indian Health Minister announced: “India has a successful epidemic.” He believed what studies based on the “Indian mathematical supermodel” suggested: that the country may have “group immunity” to natural disasters. But there were flaws in that model and the results were biased due to the lack of accurate data. Now The number of new daily infections has paralyzed the health system; Oxygen and PPE products (personal protective equipment reduced)There are no hospital beds and patients are dying on the sidewalks and streets while waiting to enter hospitals.
Government of India alerted by local eruptions of P1.1.7, first detected in the UK, to monitor the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium, INSACOG, (Indian Genomic Society for SARS-CoV-2) SARS-CoV-2 virus COVID-19. On March 24, INSACOG announced that it had less than one percent of the corona virus samples collected by member labs across the country. Found “A new dual mutant variant”. What threatened scientists was that variation It had the characteristics of two anxious lineages; Types first identified in California (B.1.427 and B.1.429), and in South Africa (B.1.351) and Brazil (P.1).
A variation emerges
Although it was not noticed at the time, the clumsy strain was sorted and its genetic code was deposited in the global database from October 2020, but “it appeared to be out of anyone’s radar,” says David Montifieri, an immunologist. Cradle development at Viral and Duke Human Vaccine Institute. This new variant is spreading rapidly, causing more than 60 percent of corona virus infections in Maharashtra, India alone, which has recorded the highest number of cases COVID-19 Cases in India.
The emergence of highly communicable types underscores the important limitations of the current surveillance status not only for SARS-CoV-2, but for all diseases developing in remote areas. INSACOG was expected to rank five percent of positive samples from all states, but was able to rank very low: just 13,614 by April 5th. “This is a global issue,” Montifieri explains.
“Of course there is a lot of genetic surveillance in the world, and I think India needs to do a lot more. People are asking how much more. Well, genetic tracking and the UK is an important sign when it is between five and 10 percent.” India is far from one percent, “Brown said. Dr. Ashish Jah, a public health policy expert at the university, explains.
What is a “double mutant” strain?
Viruses often mutate and these mutations occur approximately, explains Nagakawa of the University of Tokyo, who first studied the variations discovered in California. In fact, SARS-CoV-2, HIV and influenza viruses encode their genetic algorithms in the RNA molecule and change more often than any other type of virus due to transcriptional errors introduced as replicating viruses in cells. Guest.
GISAID, the global public database, has announced more than a million different SARS-CoV-2 displays. Many irrelevant mutations go unnoticed. But some mutations can alter amino acids, which are essential components of viral proteins that can “change their properties,” says Kagawa. If one or more mutations persist, instead of being discarded by evolution, they create new varieties other than those already in circulation, and then give them a new name.
The new variant designated today as P.1617 has two known mutations; Spike ranks 452nd in protein and 484th in second place. “[Pero] It should not be called a double mutation because it is a misnomer, ”Misra explains.
In fact, there are 11 other mutations in B.1.617 (a total of 13, seven of which are in the spike protein, which represent the surface of SARS-CoV-2 and provide the virus with its characteristic “corona” structure.Using the spike protein on the surface of the lung and other human cells ACE2 Binds to the protein receptor and infects them.The eighth mutation in B.1.617 (also found in some New York types) in the middle of the immature spike protein may increase the spread of the virus and give you an adaptive benefit.
“Mutations in p.1.617 have been studied independently, but they are not covalent,” explains virologist Benjamin Pinsky. “Importantly, there are many mutations in spike protein.”
In mutations, location is an important detail
According to Grace Roberts, a virologist at Belfast University in Queens, “It happens a lot with viruses.” Proteins on the surface form faster, especially with a new virus. [ya que] It should bind better to the cells. “
Because spike protein is coated on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, it is the primary target of the immune system. Immune cells make antibodies that identify and bind to the virus and “neutralize” it. This is the reason for all current vaccines COVID-19 Spike protein is also used to train the body for immunity.
Mutations that alter its appearance and structure may help to avoid viral antibodies, even if they are inconsistent with the spike protein. These adaptations enhance the survival and reproducibility of the virus. “Any mutation in the spike protein can have an effect on the neutralization of the virus gene type and its ineffectiveness, its proliferation and its potential pathogen formation,” Montifieri explains. This shows that California varieties with L452R mutations are two to three times more susceptible to antibodies in vaccines and active plasma samples.
Similar studies have shown that L452R mutation may increase the number of viruses that can infect a cell, promote viral replication, and bind the virus more closely to the ACE2 receptor on the cell surface. However, Key Sato, who led the study, warned that “we do not know whether the mutation is too dangerous for humans.”
Montifori says only the E484 site for B1351 and B1 types can help escape a mutation virus and neutralize antibodies. B.1.617 may be a more complex variant, with L452R mutation that may help to avoid viral antibodies. “Categorize this [B.1.617]… a top priority, “said Montessori.
Variation B.1.617 travels fast around the world and spreads globally. On April 3, a U.S. patient was diagnosed with the B.1,617 variant. “We explored all the positives that came into our lab, looking for three mutations that were related to variations of concern or variations of interest,” says Pinsky. “We were able to pick up that mutation because I really liked it.”
Could this variation have arisen independently in the United States? “The cases we identify here do not arise independently, but come from global broadcasts,” Pinsky explains. Variation B.1.617 has been identified in 16 countries on all continents except Africa.
Since the variant P.1617 has many worrying mutations, Pinsky explains that the additional effects are “evidence of today’s rapid rise in India”.
But not everyone agrees.
“It should also be noted that the number of virus scans analyzed in India [alrededor de 100 secuencias por día] This is far less than the number of victims in India [alrededor de 300.000 por día]. Therefore, we are not yet sure that the largest increase in COVID in India is due to variation B.1.617, ”Sato wrote in an email.
Rakesh Misra of the Indian Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology says, “The rapid transfer variance that continues in the country is 10 per cent, so 90 per cent of the current cases are something else, not a dual mutant.”
Can genetic monitoring reduce the second wave?
Although genetic monitoring of variants is necessary, it alone cannot prevent the occurrence of outbreaks, super-transmission events, or infection. Genetic monitoring can only help scientists track where infections are, how, and when the virus is transmitted.
“India is not paying much attention [esto]”Ja says he thinks India needs to deploy more. It would be very helpful. But he does not know if the surveillance data can prevent or reduce the second wave.”[Esto] This is part of it because action must be taken based on that information. By the end of March there was still enough information without genetic monitoring, and by mid-March I would say things were already going in the wrong direction, ”Ja says.
“To control this infection, it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” says virologist Pinsky.
There is preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of existing vaccines against B.1.167 and other types. “As the vaccine continues, it is important that we all adhere to the general policy guidelines that we are tired of hearing, but that should be extraordinarily effective against the spread of this infection,” says Pinsky. “They are: masking, social exclusion and hand washing. All of these continue to work against variations, and we must continue to adhere to them until more people are vaccinated.”
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