Covid: a new variant found in the United-Kingdom has scientists worried

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 18 February 2021 at 16h47
And what if a new Covid variant was making trouble in vaccination campaigns around the world…? In a report from the University of Edinburgh – released this Wednesday February 17 – scientists have said this new strain of the virus – similar to the already known UK variant – has been found in December in many countries, France included.

Covid, an always-changing virus… According to scientists from the University of Edinburgh who released a report this Wednesday February 17, a new variant is said to have been found in December in the United-Kingdom after tests and sequencing had been performed. A variant said to have been found in dozens of countries including France, Nigeria, the United-States of America, Denmark, and even Australia.

Answering to the sweet name of B1525, this strain is said to be similar to B117 – also known as the “UK variant” and discovered in Kent several months ago. The strain has scientists worried, especially as far as it involves the mutation of the E484K Spike protein found in the South African and Brazilian variants, making the virus more resistant to vaccines. Despite the mutation, effects are not concretely known, nothing tells the virus is more contagious or more dangerous, Reading University biology lecturer Dr. Simon Clark tells our peers from The Guardian.

And good news: even though the strain ends up more resistant to the vaccine, the latter can be quickly adapted to tackle the problematic protein, as virologist Jonathan Stoye also tells our peers from The Guardian. This new variant may throw a wrench in scientists’ gears, but it will not prevent the fight against coronavirus from going on.

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