Lambda: New variant of Covid-19 is now in Portugal
Lambda, the new variant of Covid-19 virus, was first identified in Peru, where its spread has grown exponentially. It has already been detected in 29 countries, with at least two cases in Portugal. A recent study, still in pre-publication, suggests that it may also be more resistant to vaccines.
img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” src=”http://algarvedailynews.com/images/news2/19341.jpg” alt=”LAMBDA: NEW VARIANT OF COVID-19 IS NOW IN PORTUGAL” width=”160″ height=”107″ style=”margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;” />Lambda, the new variant of Covid-19 virus, was first identified in Peru, where its spread has grown exponentially. It has already been detected in 29 countries, with at least two cases in Portugal. A recent study, still in pre-publication, suggests that it may also be more resistant to vaccines.
span>First identified in Peru in August 2020, this new variant of Covid-19 that is worrying and intriguing scientists because of the unusual nature of its mutations. In June, Lambda was already considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “variant of interest” and although in most countries it is still not common, it has been identified in at least 29 countries. In Portugal, the Dr. Ricardo Jorge of the National Health Institute has detected two cases.
span>It is in South America that the community transmission rate is of greatest concern. In August 2020, in Peru, the prevalence of this variant (formerly known as C.37) was 9%, but the percentage was rapidly escalating. In the last three months it was confirmed in more than 80% of the samples collected in the country. The fact that in South America genetic sequencing is not carried out exhaustively makes it difficult to know the true extent of the outbreaks.
span>However, in the United Kingdom, where there are still very few cases, Public Health England began to investigate this new variant and recently stressed that there is no evidence that it causes more serious disease, or is more resistant to vaccines, despite being extremely contagious.
span>But, there is another investigation, with more disturbing conclusions. The University of Chile in Santiago studied the effect of Lambda on viral infectivity using blood samples from local health professionals who received two doses of China’s CoronaVac vaccine.
The research, still in pre-publication, but published in an article last week, suggests that this variant is more infectious than Gamma (Brazilian) and Alpha (English) and with a greater capacity to escape the antibodies produced by vaccination.
span>Lambda has seven mutations in the spike protein (used by the virus to attach to the outer walls of human cells). The most intriguing mutation is L452Q, and it is similar to L452R, which explains why the Delta variant is more transmissible.
em style=”color: #ffffff;”>Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/