The magazine added that “the dearth of data on how the variable strains of the virus spread means that the threat it poses is not clear.”
A research team in the US state of New York has identified a new variant in the virus carrying a genetic mutation that may “compromise immune responses,” but the “decentralized nature of the United States’ system” makes it difficult to track these cases, according to David Hu, a virologist at Columbia University in the city of New York.
“As a result of the fragmented data, we see that states have provided data indicating that thousands of cases of mutated viruses have been recorded, while other states have provided less data,” Hu said in media statements.
In countries such as Britain, the central effort to record new infections and their types leads to a more accurate tracking of mutations and variants of the virus that has haunted the world for more than a year, and UK data showed that the virus that carries the B.1.1.7 variant is spreading clearly faster than the strains Traded.
Later research has indicated that B.1.1.7 may be more lethal but does respond to immunity provided by current vaccines, and US scientists hope for a system similar to the British system that will allow them to track and understand epidemiological variables more accurately.
“Notorious” mutations In the absence of well-defined epidemiological or medical data, scientists can measure some of the potential threat to a variable by the mutations it carries.
The researchers have developed a growing list of mutations that may enhance transmission or help the virus evade immune responses, based on laboratory and epidemiological studies.
The variant identified by the world team is New York, also known as B.1.526, carries a “notorious” mutation called E484K that has been found in variants identified in South Africa and Brazil.
Studies have shown that this variable, which is part of the coronavirus protein that recognizes host cells, impairs the effectiveness of antibodies that can normally inactivate the virus.
This could help explain observations that similar variables in South Africa and Brazil are behind the rise in re-infection cases and lower vaccine efficacy in field trials.
The researchers found that this mutation, which appeared – according to available data – last November, increased to constitute 5 percent of the total cases in the city, by mid-January, and 12 percent, by February.
It is also clearly spread along the northeastern coast of the United States, according to a team of UCIT scientists.
What is the meaning of a mutation? While the genetic mutations that get viruses are seen as a kind of natural development for them to fight their “killers” and survive the attacks of the immune systems of their hosts, they also hold hope that they may at some point lead to “reduce the virulence” of the virus, because ” It is in his best interest to keep the host alive, according to the magazine article.
While researchers are trying to understand the newly discovered American variants, so far, researchers in the United States have uncovered only a small number of cases associated with the variants identified in South Africa and Brazil.
But the detected mutation cases in Britain are on the rise steadily, a pattern being repeated in other countries in Europe and the Middle East.