The Brazilian variant of the coronavirus, which is expected to have appeared in Manaus at the end of 2020, can Bypassing the immune system of people who are already infected with Covid-19 and cause a new infectionAccording to a new poll published on Monday (1st). in addition, can be up to 2.2 times more transferable than other variants of the virus.
“This new variant can also infect those who already have antibodies against the new coronavirus after an initial natural infection”
; – Ester Sabino, immunologist and professor at the Institute for Tropical Medicine at the University of São Paulo (USP)
The study, coordinated by Sabino and Oxford University researcher Nuno Faria, was based on in the genome analysis of 184 samples from diagnosed patients with Covid-19 in a laboratory in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021.
Using mathematical modeling, cross genomic and mortality data, the research team calculated that the Manaus variant, known as the P.1., It is between 1.4 and 2.2 times more transferable than the tribes that preceded it, according to a note from the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP), which supported the study.
“Scientists also estimate that in some of the people who are already infected with SARS-CoV-2 – anywhere between 25% and 61% – the new variant can bypass the immune system and cause a new infection,” said FAPESP. The modeling work was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Imperial College London.
With a more transmissible variant, there is great concern about how vaccines approved against Covid-19 will respond to it. According to Sabino, while the study also looks at immunity, it does not address the potential effectiveness of vaccines, as the work was only based on the immunity of people who already had the disease.
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“The work suggests that this virus is able to bypass the immunity acquired by infection. It is not currently possible to talk about a vaccine. Then it depends on the vaccine, it can be different vaccines,” said the immunologist. The study was peer-reviewed and is currently being evaluated by scientific journals.
The new variant is cited as one of the causes of the health system collapse in Manaus earlier this year, when the Amazon capital suffered from oxygen starvation in hospitals due to the explosion of new cases, and beds were suffocated by patients.