All the countries of the world are still battling with Corona. At the same time, the possibility of a third wave is also being expressed in India. Amidst all this, another dangerous variant of corona has surfaced in many countries of the world including South Africa. It is being told that this variant is more infectious than before and it can also dodge the protection provided by the vaccine.
Scientists at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform in South Africa claim that the C.1.2 variant of the corona first appeared in May. After this, its cases were seen in China, Congo, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland till August.
Categorized as Variant of Interest
According to scientists, out of the variants found during the first wave of corona in South Africa, more changes have been seen in C.1.2 than in C.1 variant. This is the reason why this variant has been kept in the category of variant of interest.
Variant’s genome sequence changes
Scientists have claimed that more mutations have been seen in C.1.2 than the variants of concern and variants of interest found so far in the world. Not only this, scientists say that this variant may be more infectious and it can also dodge the protection mechanism provided by the corona vaccine. According to this study, the number of C.1.2 genomes is increasing every month in The Africa. Genome sequencing increased from 0.2% in May to 1.6% in June, to 2% in July.
Twice faster than the global mutation rate
According to the study, the mutation rate of this variant is 41.8 per year. This is twice as fast as the current global mutation rate. The spike protein is used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect and enter human cells. Most of the corona vaccines target this area.
According to scientists, mutations have been found in N440K and Y449H variants C.1.2. These mutations help the virus to evade antibodies and immune responses along with changes in the virus. This has also been seen in patients in whom antibodies against alpha or beta variants were developed.