Coronavirus Mutation: Emergence of New Variants


The world is witnessing during past months concerns about new emerging variants of the Coronavirus – Scientists are baffled as to whether there's a chance of vaccines already produced are not as effective against these new variants.

Experts believe that new variants of the virus are a result of the mutation in the Spike Protein of the virus that vaccines were initially made for.

Spike Protein is responsible for the formation of the virus’s head – Which attaches the virus to cell receptors in the human body.

What are the popular strains of these variants?

  • The UK variant “Kent” is one of these variants which was first observed back in September with a higher chance of infection over the original virus strain.

  • South Africa’s strain, spotted in 20 other countries today since it was first observed back in October. 

  • The Brazil variant appeared for the first time in July last year.

The Key Mutation of Each of The Variants: 

  • All three variants could be dangerous and more infectious than the coronavirus that we knew since the beginning of the pandemic back in march.

  • The genetic mutation holding the code (N501Y) is in all 3 of the different variants – Which enhances the capability of the virus to spread more easily and attach to human cells more efficiently. 

  • The UK variant “kent” though is lacking the presence of the key mutation code (E484K) found in South Africa and Brazil variants – This genetic mutation allows the virus to surpass the human body’s defenses and evade antibody attacks.

Why Are Those Variants Emerging?

Just like the rest of the viruses on planet Earth – They mutate to ensure reproduction and survival.

Scientists believe that the more the virus spreads the bigger the number of mutations is – With the virus undergoing such mutations the risk of developing new variants is higher.

Concerns about the vaccines not being able to shut down the new variants are being studied – Scientists also are updating the vaccines to match the evolution of stronger strains.

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