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Delta Plus variant.. Should the world be concerned about the new Corona variant?

India has classified a new type of coronavirus that was first identified in Europe as a "variable of concern", and according to the BBC, the mutation is raised from a "variant of interest" to a "variant of concern" when it shows evidence that a criterion is met. At least one of several criteria, including easy transmission, more severe disease, reduced neutralization by antibodies or reduced efficacy of treatment and vaccines.

The Indian Ministry of Health says studies have shown that the so-called Delta Plus variant - also known as AY.1 - spreads more easily, binds more easily to lung cells and is potentially resistant to treatment with monoclonal antibodies.

This variant is related to delta, a current species of concern, which was first identified in India last year and is believed to have driven the summer's second deadly wave of infections.

The Ministry of Health says that the "Delta Plus" variant, which was first detected in India in April, was detected in 22 samples from six districts in three states - Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. Sixteen of these samples were found in Maharashtra, It is one of the states hardest hit by the pandemic.

The Delta Plus variant has also been found in 9 other countries USA, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, Russia and China - compared to the highly pathogenic original Delta strain, which has now spread to 80 countries.

According to the report, viruses change all the time and most of the changes are irrational. Some even harm the virus, but others can make the disease more contagious or threatening, and these mutations tend to dominate.

But prominent virologists have questioned the classification of Delta Plus as a worrisome variant, saying there is no data yet to prove that the variant was more contagious or led to more severe disease compared to the other variants.

Dr Jagandeep Kang, a virologist and the first Indian woman to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in London, said: “There is no data yet to support the diverse claim based on 22 sequences.” We need biological and clinical information in order to consider whether it is really a worrying variable. ."

This means that India needs more data to determine whether the variant has been neutralized by antibodies from available vaccines or infection by another type of coronavirus.

Also, extensive data are needed on the increase in transmissibility, diagnostic failure of routine tests that do not capture the variant and whether the variant causes more serious disease.

"We need to study hundreds of patients with this condition and variant and see if they are more likely to develop greater disease than the previous variant," Kang added.

What is the delta plus variable?


Delta plus (AY.1) is another mutation of the well-known “delta” variant (B.1.617.2), and according to the scientists, Delta Plus contains the K417N mutation in the spike protein.

The known coronal delta variant, from which it is also mutated, is highly transmissible and potentially more dangerous than the current dominant variants.

Indian health officials said the variant shows increased transmissibility, stronger binding to lung cell receptors and a possible reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

India has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with nearly 30 million cases and 389,302 deaths reported.