More data suggest new coronavirus mutant attenuated vaccines, treatments

Thursday, March 4, 2021 (HealthDay News)

There is new evidence that rapidly spreading variants of the coronavirus that cause COVID-19 are more resistant to antibody therapy and vaccines.

Researchers evaluated the first mutants identified in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Brazil and found that they could evade antibodies that worked well against the original version of the coronavirus that caused the pandemic.

According to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, this could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and antibody-based drugs used to prevent or treat COVID-19 by new mutants that are expected to dominate. Means that there is.

The findings are from clinical tests of antibodies in the blood of people who have recovered from a coronavirus infection or who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The researchers also tested antibodies in the blood of mice, hamsters, and monkeys vaccinated with a university-developed experimental COVID-19 vaccine that can be administered nasally.

The results showed that much higher levels of antibody were needed to neutralize the mutants.

“People who are infected with COVID-19 or who are expected to have protective levels of antibodies because they are vaccinated are concerned that they may not be protected from new variants.” , Professor of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, Pathology, Immunology.

“The amount of antibody produced in response to vaccination or natural infections varies widely. Some people produce very high levels, but they may still be protected from new and anxious mutations. However, some people, especially the elderly and those with immunodeficiency, may not make such high levels of antibodies, “he explained in a college news release.

“As our data show, a 10-fold increase in the level of antibodies needed for protection may not be enough. People who need the most protection can be those who need the least protection. I’m concerned, “said Diamond.

He said it was not yet known what the outcome of the new variant would be.

“Antibodies are not the only defense. Other elements of the immune system may be able to compensate for the increased resistance to antibodies. Looking at what happens as these mutants spread, epidemiologically time Will be decided over time, “said Diamond. ..

“Is there a reinfection? Will the vaccine become less effective and drug resistance emerges? I don’t think so,” he said. “But it is necessary to continuously screen the antibody to ensure that the antibody is still functioning when new mutants develop and spread and may coordinate vaccines and antibody treatment strategies. It’s clear that there is. “

This study was published in the journal on March 4th. Nature medicine..

For more information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details the coronavirus variants.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, News Release, March 4, 2021

Robert Prite

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