COVID Mutations

Scientists are studying the impact of various COVID mutations that are making the COVID virus more dangerous to humans. Some mutations increase transmissibility. Some mutations provide immune escape characteristics, making existing vaccines less effective.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2  This is a use web link.

  • N501Y

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2#N501Y

      • This mutation increases COVID transmissibility - and this is why at 25/4/21, the UK variant is the dominant variant in Europe and USA.

      • 'Variants with N501Y include P.1 (Brazil/Japan), Variant of Concern 20DEC-01 (UK), 501.V2 (South Africa), and COH.20G/501Y (Columbus, Ohio).'

  • E484K

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2#E484K

      • This mutation was the second major mutation of importance at 25/4/21, but could rapidly become far more important, because this mutation provide immune escape characteristics to COVID, making current vaccines less effective - particularly AstraZeneca vaccine, which is only about 10% effectiveness against mild COVID.

      • '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) from at least one form of monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2, indicating there may be a "possible change in antigenicity"'.

      • '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 (UK variant) genomes with E484K mutation have also been detected (in the UK).'

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2#Lineage_P.1

      • This P1 variant is currently (25/Apr/21) the dominant strain in Brazil

      • 'was detected in Tokyo on 6 January 2021'

      • 'This variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been named P.1 lineage ... has 17 unique amino acid changes, 10 of which in its spike protein, including the three concerning mutations: N501Y, E484K and K417T.'

      • 'A separate Brazilian study identified another sub-lineage of the B.1.1.28 lineage circulating in the state of Rio de Janeiro, now named P.2 lineage,[115] that harbours the E484K mutation but not the N501Y and K417T mutation.[114] The P.2 lineage evolved independently in Rio de Janeiro without being directly related to the P.1 lineage from Manaus'

      • A study ... indicated the P.1 lineage to be 1.4–2.2 times more transmissible and was shown to be capable of evading 25–61% of inherited immunity from previous coronavirus diseases, leading to the possibility of reinfection after recovery from an earlier COVID-19 infection. As for the fatality ratio, P.1 infections were also found to be 10–80% more lethal.

      • I think one of the 16/April/21 Anne de Gheest updates youtube presentations indicated that the P1 variant is now spreading in parts of Europe and in the north east of the USA. Also in California.

  • E484Q

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2#E484Q

      • India is seeing a significant surge of COVID-19 starting 2021 caused by a "double mutant". This "double mutant" strain has been named B.1.617. E484Q is a key mutation in this strain that enhances ACE2 receptor binding ability and reduces existing antibodies from attaching to this mutated, hence differently folded, spike protein.

  • L452R

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2#L452R 

      • There has been a significant surge of COVID-19 starting 2021 all across India caused by a "double mutant". This "double mutant" strain has been named B.1.617. L452R is a relevant mutation in this strain that enhances ACE2 receptor binding ability and reduces existing antibodies from attaching to this mutated, hence differently folded, spike protein.

      • L452R, some studies show, could even make the coronavirus resistant to T cells, that are class of cells necessary to target and destroy virus-infected cells. They are different from antibodies that are useful in blocking coronavirus particles and preventing it from proliferating.

    • https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.07.21252647v1

      • "Transmission, infectivity, and antibody neutralization of an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant in California carrying a L452R spike protein mutation"

        • "We identified a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant by viral whole-genome sequencing of 2,172 nasal/nasopharyngeal swab samples from 44 counties in California. Named B.1.427/B.1.429 to denote its 2 lineages, the variant emerged around May 2020 and increased from 0% to >50% of sequenced cases from September 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021"

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