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(Reuters) – The Lambda variant of the coronavirus, first identified in Peru and now spreading in South America, is highly infectious and more resistant to vaccines than the original version of the virus the emerged from Wuhan, China, Japanese researchers have found.
In laboratory experiments, they found that three mutations in Lambda’s spike protein, known as RSYLTPGD246-253N, 260 L452Q and F490S, help it resist neutralization by vaccine-induced antibodies.
Two additional mutations, T76I and L452Q, help make Lambda highly infectious, they found.
In a paper posted on Wednesday on bioRxiv ahead of peer review, the researchers warn that with Lambda being labeled a “Variant of Interest” by the World Health Organization, rather than a “Variant of Concern,” people might not realize it is a serious ongoing threat.
Although it is not clear yet whether this variant is more dangerous than the Delta now threatening populations in many countries, senior researcher Kei Sato of the University of Tokyo told Reuters he believes “Lambda can be a potential threat to the human society.”
Créditos: Comité científico Covid