COVID escape mutation E484K

British Medical Journal - "Covid-19: The E484K mutation and the risks it poses". 5Feb2021      

  • "E484K is called an escape mutation because it helps the virus slip past the body’s immune defences."

  • "The E484K mutation is not a new variant in itself, it’s a mutation which occurs in different variants and has already been found in the South African (B.1.351) and Brazilian (B.1.1.28) variants." Public Health England (PHE)1Feb2021

  • Some UK sample of the UK B.1.1.7 variant had been identified carrying the E484K mutation.   This is a major concern because the UK variant is spreading rapidly around the world

Anne de Gheest update 2April2021.

Eric Topol mutation/variant summary 17/Apr/21 shows the the New York variant B.1.429/7 also has the E484K mutation.

Eric Topol 17/Apr/2021 shows that the Indian variant B.1.617 has a slightly different mutation at "place" 484. It has E484Q

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2#E484K     More about mutation E484K

  • At the 18/4/21, this web page reports:

    • "E484K has been reported to be an escape mutation (i.e. a mutation that improves a virus's ability to evade the host's immune system)"

    • "The P.1. lineage described in Japan and Manaus, the P.2 lineage (also known as B.1.1.248 lineage, Brazil) and 501.V2 (South Africa) exhibit this mutation. A limited number of B.1.1.7 genomes with E484K mutation have also been detected."

Why are "escape mutations" important to understand?

  • Because:

    • In Anne de Gheest's 2/Apr/2021 presentation, she shared that:

      • in a survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries:-

        • 66% of those expert epidemiologists thought that mutations over the next 12 months will render existing vaccine versions ineffective,

        • 33% thought that this would occur within 9 months.

    • I think that I am therefore stating by saying that:-

      • To keep all Australia safe from COVID variants,  Australia probably need the ability to acquire and distribute/vaccinate the entire Australian population within 3 months.    I suspect this in turn implies:

        • That Australia probably cannot bet on any one particular vaccine (and "parent" pharmaceutical company) to be able have vaccine-updates for the latest variants ready "in time" to vaccinate all Australians

          • Development. The vaccine update has to be developed in a timely fashion AND

          • Manufacture and provision. The vaccine-update must be manufacture very quickly and made available very quickly to Australia.

        • This probably means that we need to be having AT LEAST 3 of the "most reliable" suppliers in Australia's COVID arsenal   AND the ability to manufacture high volume of at least 2 of these over 3 months ( i.e. both produce enough for half of Australian entire population) AND that as that manufacture/provision is occurring simultaneously with the manufacturing.

        • This means that Australia needs to be constantly substantially over-provisioning of vaccine updates for Australia's population.

          • And that excess supplies be provided to developing nations eg Pacific Islands and New Guinea first and then Asia.

        • Australia needs to be working hand-in-glove with New Zealand on this at least. Other countries could be considered for this "club".