The iota strain has spread throughout the world and has the highest mortality

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The iota strain has spread throughout the world and has the highest mortality
The iota strain has spread throughout the world and has the highest mortality

Scientists in the United States have reported a new strain of "iota", or B.1.526, with an increased infectivity and mortality rate compared to other variants. The transmissibility of this strain is about 15-25 percent higher than that of previously circulating variants. B.1.526 is able to bypass the immune defenses in about ten percent of previously infected people. This is facilitated by the presence of two specific mutations E484K and S477N, each of which determines a type of "iota" variant. Both varieties share similar epidemiological characteristics.

"Iota" option may increase the risk of death among the elderly

SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by the new strain also has an increased risk of death (IFR): 46 percent among patients 45-64 years old, 82 percent among 65-74 years old, and 62 percent among people over 75 years old. compared to baseline IFR for other coronavirus strains. The research team did not report a higher risk of death among people infected with the iota variant of the coronavirus and in younger age groups (younger than 45 years old). However, young people are also infected with this strain, and among the patients whose blood samples were analyzed, they made up the majority - about 67 percent.

The mutated strain originated in New York and spread throughout the world

The Iota variant of SARS-CoV-2 was identified in November 2020 and quickly became one of the most common in New York. A team of scientists from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Columbia University School of Public Health examined epidemiological data collected in the city between November 2020 and April 2021. It turned out that in the area of ​​New York where the new strain was discovered, the transmission rate of the pathogen was higher than in other parts of the city, which gave it the opportunity to become widespread even before the discovery. In this way, it is similar to other worrisome variants of the coronavirus. To date, a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in all states and counties of the United States and in no less than 27 other countries.

"Iota" -variant has resistance to antibodies

The new strain also differs from other variants in the ability to evade the immune response, and also has resistance to therapeutic antibodies. This is alarming among professionals, as the iota option can negate previous medical advances and significantly increase mortality in the population. According to the authors of the preprint of the article, which reports on the detection of the strain, the timely preparation and careful monitoring of the various variants of SARS-CoV-2, their epidemiological characteristics and the severity of the disease are critical for taking measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which still remains a global threat to public health.

Little is known about the new strain

Russian immunologist Nikolai Kryuchkov told URA.RU that there is very little information about the iota strain so far. “It will be possible to say something definite only for a certain time, when its share will begin to grow very rapidly. If it grows, then there are evolutionary advantages that make it possible to successfully compete with other strains of strains,”the immunologist commented on the discovery of American researchers.According to the Russian expert, the variants "lambda", "gamma" and "delta", which have already spread throughout the world and continue to mutate with the appearance of derivative variants, are a great danger.

Other mutant coronavirus strains reduce vaccine efficacy

Several high-risk strains of the coronavirus are currently known that could potentially reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. These include British alpha (B.1.1.7), South African beta (B.1.351), Brazilian gamma (P.1) and Indian delta B.1.617 … The South African, Brazilian, British and Indian variants are more resistant to antibodies that are produced in the body of people vaccinated with various drugs, including Pfizer and Moderna. The efficacy of Sputnik V against the South African strain, the Brazilian strain and the Indian strain B.1.617.2 variety is also reduced. However, there is still no data on the effectiveness of various vaccines against the "iota" variant.

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