The discovery of a new variant with over 30 spike mutations in South Africa has left the scientists worried and several of them have warned that the new variant has a combination of mutations that can possibly cause the virus to evade immunity.
Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, posted the details of the variant on social media on Thursday, noting that the “incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggest this could be of real concern (predicted escape from most known monoclonal antibodies)”.
“Worth emphasising this is at super low numbers right now in a region of Africa that is fairly well sampled, however it very very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile (would take a guess that this would be worse antigenically than nearly anything else about),” he wrote.
Cases Detected in Which Countries?
The first cases of the variant were confirmed in Botswana on November 11 and three days later South Africa confirmed a case of the same variant. The only other country to have officially recorded the variant is Hong Kong where 36-year-old man who flew to South Africa and stayed there from October 22 to November 11, tested on November 13 for this particular variant while in quarantine.