New mutations in the delta mutant that may increase resistance to the vaccine have been identified in the United Kingdom.
Approximately 19 cases of delta with E484K, a mutation associated with antigenic escape of other variants, have been found, 17 of which have been found in the United Kingdom and 2 in Scotland.
Although the number of cases is very small, the presence of the E484K, known in the viral academia as “Eeek” due to its dodging nature of the vaccine, is a source of concern, and Public Health England has called it a “signal under investigation”. It is classified as.
The latest technical briefing on deltas by PHE states that changes in the covid genome at position 484 are “potentially antigenically important.” In other words, it may make the virus more resistant to current vaccines.
However, all UK vaccines provide strong protection against deltas, and while this mutation can potentially blunt their effects, it does not negate them.
The E484K mutation is present in the beta virus first identified in South Africa, in the surge test discovered earlier this year in the United Kingdom due to its associated properties, and in two other strains of the parent strain B1617. increase. Delta variant. All three did not have the same highly contagious properties as Delta.
However, scientists have long warned that the combination of highly infectious deltas and antigenic escape mutations could pose a threat to the vaccine.
This change also suggests that the virus is under pressure in most of the UK’s vaccinated population and is trying to adapt to survive.
However, the Delta + E484K cluster could disappear, as it did with the so-called “Delta Plus” variant in the UK earlier this summer. This is a combination of Delta and E484Q and is another concern.
As of September 13, the largest clusters of Delta + E484K are in the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Hamburg regions, with 6 and 4 cases, respectively. Two in eastern England, one in London, one in the northwest, southeast, and southwest of England, and one in an unknown region.
Three of the 17 English cases are related to traveling to Latvia and Nigeria.
Internationally, there are 99 Delta + E484K cases, including 25 in the United States, 22 in Denmark, 21 in Turkey, 6 in Italy and 3 in Germany.
A spokesperson for PHE said: “We are constantly monitoring all data related to SARS-CoV-2 variants in the UK and abroad. Deltas using E484K are not currently under investigation or concerns. Once identified, the health protection team will be notified so that they can take appropriate action in the epidemiological situation. “
Weekly average hospitalizations fell for the first time in a few weeks, according to the latest government coronavirus dashboard figures.
As of September 13, there were 909 new hospitalizations. The number of new daily cases also continued to decline to 32,651, an average of 23% for 7 days. However, with 178 new deaths reported on Friday, daily deaths remain relatively high.