Scientists confirm that the Lambda variant of COVID19 is more infectious and evades immunity from vaccines. Scientists suggest that the Lambda variant of the coronavirus is “more infectious” and can evade neutralizing antibodies
The group of scientists concluded that the Lambda variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is spreading in several countries in South America and also in other parts of the world, is not only “more infectious”, but can also evade neutralizing antibodies, according to a new study, published Wednesday on the BioRxiv prepress server.
The Lambda variant, also known as C.37, was first detected in Peru in August 2020 and has since spread to at least 30 countries. In June, the WHO classified it as “a variant of interest”, while the data show that it has a high incidence in the Latin American region.
Currently the virological characteristics and evolutionary trait of Lambda remain unclear. However, the new study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, suggests that the peak protein of this strain is “more infectious”, which is attributed to two mutations: T76I and L452Q, whose appearance changed the nature of the disease. adhesion of the virus to the cellular receptor ACE2.
Lambda is believed to infect cells as actively as the Delta variant, which is now considered one of the most contagious strains of SARS-CoV-2 in the world.
Meanwhile, another Lambda mutation, RSYLTPGD246-253N, is “responsible for the evasion of neutralizing antibodies,” the researchers note. This mutation is described as “unique”, characteristic of only that variant of the virus.
According to the scientists, to neutralize the Andean variant, on average, about 1.5 times more antibodies are needed than to neutralize other strains. This is due to the disappearance of a large part of the genome that encodes the N-terminal domain, where the spike protein binds, which is responsible for entering the cell.
The researchers believe that the appearance of the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation is “closely related to the massive spread” of Lambda in South America.