According to virologists from the PAIS Project, the UK variant is 30 to 90 percent more transmissible.
The variant from the United Kingdom – in which community turnover has already been detected in Argentina – and those of Manaus – in which cases without epidemiological link have been found but cannot be confirmed to be spreading en masse – are the two that generate the most anxiety in the country as they are associated with an increase in Transmissibility and a potential increase in lethality, which could have a strong influence on the second local wave.
Viruses change all the time. The discovery of alternatives to SARS-Cove-2 began a few months ago, prompting a kind of alert among scientists and governments. These variants contain changes in their genomes that are beginning to be associated with increased transmissibility, severity, or potential flight of treatments or vaccines, ”he explained to Tlam. Umberto DiBat, a virologist and member of the Argentine Inter-Institutional Project on the SARS-CoV-2 Genome (PAIS).
in this context , The World Health Organization classifies the variables as “significant” (VOI, variable of interest, in English) and “significant” (VOC, variable of concern), Including the United Kingdom, Manaus, and South Africa.
“These variants contain changes in their genomes that have begun to be associated with increased transmissibility, severity, or the possibility of escape to treatments or vaccines.”“
Humberto Debat, virlogo
In Argentina, to date, it has been established that there is societal circulation of two different species.One of them is the United Kingdom, Also called 501Y.V1 (lineage B.1.1.7) or VOC 20 2012/01, which has already been reported in 111 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay, within South America.
The other alternative is Rue de Janeiro, Also called P.2 (derived from the lineage B.1.1.28), which was so It has been detected in 29 countries, including Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, With community trading.
In the latest report presented by the PAIS Project It has been reported that, in addition, samples with Manaus variants have been detected (Also called P2 or 501Y.V3, it has been reported in at least 32 countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Chile) and one of those in California (CAL.20C) that “corresponds to individuals without a travel record. Or close contact with travelers. “
however, At present, these variables cannot be classified as “community trading.” Because the National Ministry of Health states that this category applies when “in an area where a large number of cases not associated with chains of transmission already known in a given area have been recorded” and there are still few detection of samples using this alternative.
At present, these variables cannot be classified as “community trading”.
The other alternative that is spreading all over the world however So far not found in Argentina is South Africa, Also called 501Y.V2 (lineage B.1.351) or VOC 20 2012/02, which has already been reported in 58 countries, none from South America.
Regarding the situation in Argentina, DiBat noted that “on surveillance we found out.” The frequency of the UK variable is increasing; Based on evidence from several countries, we know that if this trend continues within a few weeks, it may become dominant (a frequency greater than 50%) in AMBA. “
The virologist, who is also a researcher at INTA Córdoba, warned about this “If this happens, the second wave of the epidemic in Argentina will be driven by a virus that we already know is more transmissible and more deadly.”
According to a report that Depatt prepared jointly with virologists Mariana Vegas and Carolina Torres (also members of the PAIS Project), various investigations have shown that The UK variant is 30 to 90 percent more portable; While in studies from the United Kingdom and Denmark, it was also associated with a higher risk of hospitalization and death, yet another study indicated that this relationship is not conclusive.
“For the Manaus variableThe various studies that we have show a terrible picture. While we don’t yet have conclusive evidence that it is more deadly, early indications are More portable than the British variantAs we know, due to the exponential nature of the infection, if this alternative is established in our country, it may affect the epidemiological situation and lead to more hospitalizations and deaths, ”said Depat.
But the expert pointed out that “it is important to emphasize this Manaus variant, although it has already been detected in 33 countries, it is only prevalent in Brazil, So there may be a possibility that this dramatic situation that we see in our neighbors is related not only to the variable but also to the exceptional epidemiological context. “
However, he continued, bearing in mind that this variable was originally created in Manaus in conjunction with an important outbreak that subsequently repeated in the rest of the country in parallel with the increase in the frequency of P.1 indicating that the variant is an important factor in this wave that is experiencing it. Brazil “.
“If the Manaus variable is created in our country, it may affect the epidemiological situation and lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.”“
Humberto Debat, virlogo
Referring to the behavior of these variants against therapies and vaccines, the DiBatt, Torres, and Vegas report noted that, “Variant 501Y.V1 (UK) showed a slight or insignificant decrease in the ability to neutralize sera from the detrimental individuals of the first wave or of vaccines from vaccinated individuals. With vaccines BNT162b2 (Pfizer / BioNTech), mRNA-1273 (Moderna), and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) “.
Besides these studies, in countries with a large number of vaccine applications and a high proportion of this alternative, it was noted that the effectiveness is being maintained (UK and Israel), and in particular In the case of Israel, a decrease in the incidence rate of 91.2% for all infections and 99.3% for symptomatic infections was also observed. And 75% efficacy for total infection (symptomatic and asymptomatic) in health workers, 15-28 days after the first dose.
In the case of the Manaus variant, the experts ’report noted that“ a decrease in parity was observed with sera from the first convalescent waves and those vaccinated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer / BioNTech), mRNA-1273 (Moderna), ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) and CoronaVac (Sinovac). ) “.
“In addition, this variable may be associated with an avoidance of an immune response and a higher likelihood of reinfection,” they said.
Finally, according to the data available so far, it is important to emphasize this All vaccines are effective against hospitalization and mortality Because of SARS-CoV-2, both against the lineages that have spread since the beginning of the epidemic and recent variants of concern, “the report concluded.