Learn more about C.1.2 Covid Variant

According to the study, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had been discovered in South Africa.

Insight Bureau:   According to a study, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had been discovered in South Africa and many other places across the world, which might be more transmissible and evade vaccination protection.

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The possible variant of interest, C.1.2, was first discovered in South Africa in May this year, according to scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP).

  • As of 13 August, C.1.2 had been discovered in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland.
  • According to the researchers, the new variant has more mutations than previous variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) discovered globally thus far.
  • C.1.2 has changed significantly compared to C.1, one of the lineages that dominated SARS-CoV-2 infections in the initial wave in South Africa, according to a research published on the preprint repository MedRxiv on August 24.
  • They speculated that the number of available C.1.2 sequences may be an underestimate of the variant’s spread and frequency in South Africa and throughout the world.
  • The number of C.1.2 genomes sequenced in South Africa increased month after month, going from 0.2 percent in May to 1.6 percent in June, and then to 2 percent in July, according to the research. According to the study, the C.1.2 lineage has a mutation rate of 41.8 mutations per year, which is almost twice as fast as the other variants’ current worldwide mutation rate.
  • Upasana Ray, a virologist, explained that the variant is the consequence of many changes in the spike protein of the C.1.2 line, which distinguishes it from the original virus discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019.
  • The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the spike protein to infect and penetrate human cells, and most vaccines target this region. N440K and Y449H mutations, which have been linked to immunological escape from certain antibodies, have also been found in C.1.2 sequences.
  • These mutations, in combination with alterations in other parts of the virus, are believed to enable the virus avoid antibodies and immunological responses, even in individuals who have generated antibodies against the Alpha or Beta variants.

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