What strains of corona virus are still threatening us?

What strains of corona virus are still threatening us?
What strains of corona virus are still threatening us?

If you thought the corona virus was likely to disappear from the world – it will not happen soon: It is one of the most mutant viruses, constantly creating variants (strains) that infect faster and cause more serious diseases, and now also in children. This week (Tuesday), the Ministry of Health announced that a new variant has been identified for an 11-year-old child in Israel, a variant that has already spread in Europe, just at a time when the fourth wave is shrinking.

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So why do viruses continue to create variants? Mainly because of their evolutionary goal – to spread around the world, and the way to do that is through genetic diversity that is supposed to overcome the immune system, vaccines and drugs. So does the corona virus, which is estimated to have already developed dozens of strains and thousands of different mutations.

The new variants, which contain many mutations, are of great concern in the world. But right now, apart from faster infection, even in healthy people including children and pregnant women – the course of the disease is not necessarily more turbulent than other strains. Most of the mutations that were discovered, the same genetic changes, directed the virus to attach more quickly to the human cell. However, there is still no evidence that the disease is different from the corona we have known so far.

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k What viruses continue to create variants? Mainly due to their evolutionary goal – to spread around the world

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Variants classified as “worrying varieties” are the main varieties of corona today, and they spread rapidly and make up most of the morbidity. Today, the worrying strains are beta, gamma and delta. In the group of “interesting varieties” are the varieties Mew And kapa, and “varieties under surveillance” – are variants that have been discovered at a relatively low distribution rate or new variants.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

When was it discovered: The variant was recently located in Israel In an 11-year-old boy who returned from abroad And passed an examination at Ben Gurion Airport. The sample underwent genetic flooring in a laboratory in Tel Hashomer while the child was in isolation, and so far no further verified contacts have been discovered. The genetic flooring indicated that he was infected with the new variant.

the meaning: It is a sub-variety, one of several sub-varieties that have been named “Delta Plus“Where there is a mutation in the” spike “protein of the corona virus (the same” thorny “envelope that binds to the human cell) and it has already been found in 8% of cases of genetic sequencing of corona viruses in the UK, where the variant was first discovered last July. And has since spread to a number of countries in Europe.

Not much is known about the “feats” of the variant, but it is clear that he is a “cousin” of the AY.4 virus lineage, which remains the dominant version in most countries of the world. According to estimates by world health organizations, the Delta strain is considered to be much more contagious than other strains, and it tends to cause a particularly serious disease in children. But the calming tone comes from the vaccine companies: According to Pfizer and Moderna, vaccines are effective against all the variants commonly used in the world today.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

Formerly called: British Enter B.1.1.7.

When was it discovered: October 2020 in the UK, samples taken about a month earlier.

The mutations: The British strain includes 17 mutations of which eight mutations in the envelope protein S.

the meaning: The variety is spreading worldwide and becoming dominant in many countries. It is estimated that it does not cause a more serious disease, but is more easily contagious due to mutations in the shell proteins, which cause it to bind rapidly to the body’s cells. The strain is very common in children, probably because it spread in parallel with the start of vaccination campaigns. According to Modern and Pfizer, their vaccines protect against the British strain.

World Health Organization Classification: A strain of concern

Formerly called: Enter Nigerian B.1.1.207.

When was it discovered: May 2020 in Nigeria.

The mutations: The variant includes a mutation called P681H which was also found in the British strain.

the meaning: It is found in about one percent of all corona cases that have been genetically engineered in Nigeria, and apparently continues to spread there.

World Health Organization Classification: A strain of concern

Formerly called: Enter Brazilian P.1.

When was it discovered: In January 2021 in Tokyo with four travelers who visited the Amazon. One week later, 13 more cases were found in Brazil.

The mutations: The virus has 17 genetic changes in amino acids that make up proteins, ten of them in envelope proteins.

the meaning: The virus has been detected in Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States and Peru. However, reports of strains in the strain are dwindling.

World Health Organization Classification: A strain of concern

Formerly called: Enter Indian B.1.617.2.

When was it discovered: The strain was first detected in October 2020 in India, and spread rapidly throughout the world, until it became the dominant strain in most countries of the world.

The mutations: The Delta strain has several important mutations in the mantle protein, two of which – L452R and D614G – allow the variant to attach very strongly to receptors called ACE2 Saturn in the human body. Other mutations like P681R allow the virus to enter the body cell more easily.

what is the meaning: As far as is known, the Delta strain is the most contagious among all the variants found in the world today, but not necessarily the deadliest of them all. The vaccines are still effective against it In preventing disease, but less in preventing infection: Data shown by Israel found that Pfizer vaccines prevent only 64% of infections among the vaccinated. However the vaccine remains powerful in preventing severe morbidity and mortality.

World Health Organization Classification: A strain of concern

When was it discovered: March 2021.

The mutations: Delta Plus strain Different from the original delta strain in another mutation (genetic deformity) found in the protein shell of the corona virus, the “protein spike”. This location of mutations also exists in previous strains on the envelope protein, and is of great importance because it determines the degree of attachment of the virus to receptors on the cell in the body.

This link between the virus and the infected cell allows the virus to penetrate the lung, heart, kidney and intestinal cells very easily. Once the virus attaches to the receptor, it changes it to an “open” or “closed” state. The K417N mutation helps the envelope proteins of the corona virus increase the chance of “opening” the infected cell envelope, thus penetrating the cell.

the meaning: The virus appeared near the Delta strain, most likely in the UK or India. On June 22, the World Health Organization declared the Delta Plus strain a “worrying strain” and noted that it is more contagious, communicates faster to receptors on the cell and overrides the immune system that tries to destroy it without success.

This strain has already spread around the world and also in Israel. The vaccines have been found to protect against severe disease from the Delta and Delta Plus strains. Vaccine companies are updating that the new versions of the vaccines that will be distributed next year will also include updates against the Delta strain.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

Formerly called: B.1.525.

When was it discovered: This strain was first identified in the UK and Nigeria in December 2020 and has now spread to some 70 countries around the world.

The mutations: Ata carries with it mutations similar to the alpha virus, including an E484K mutation that helps the virus escape antibodies, and an H69-V70 deletion that changes the structure of the envelope proteins so that the virus easily escapes the antibodies. However, it is not yet known whether Hata virus is more contagious than previous versions of the virus.

the meaning: A modern company has announced that its vaccine protects well against this strain, but at a slightly lesser level compared to the original British strain.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

Formerly called: B.1.617.1.

When was it discovered: The virus was first detected in India in October 2020 and has since spread to 52 countries in the world and 31 countries in the US. Today, the virus constitutes 0.5% of all corona viruses that are genetically linked in laboratories worldwide.

The mutations: The strain has eight mutations in the envelope proteins, two of which allow it to bind strongly to the ACE2 receptor in the human body. Other mutations allow it to penetrate the body very easily and evade neutralizing antibodies.

the meaning: The virus is slightly more contagious than other strains, but modern and Pfizer vaccines also protect against it.

World Health Organization classification: Interest-bearing strain

Formerly called: Zen Pro C.37.

When was it discovered: The virus was first detected in Peru in August 2020 and has since spread to 29 countries, mostly in South America. In Peru this constitutes 81% of all genetic sequencing, and in Chile it constitutes 31% of the genetically sequenced viruses.

The mutations: The variant has eight mutations in the envelope proteins compared to the original strain identified in Wuhan. Some of them help him to easily penetrate the body, others allow him to bind tightly to the cell or evade the onslaught of the immune system.

the meaning: There is no evidence that this strain causes a more serious disease. There are no further data on the effect of the vaccines against the strain.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

When was it discovered: December 2020 in South Africa.

The mutations: The strain has ten mutations that are all located in the envelope of the virus S.

the meaning: The strain began to spread in parallel with the British strain and caused great concern in the world, having caused the infection of healthy people without risk factors, including children. The strain also arrived in Israel, and so far about 30 people carrying it have been located. Despite the concerns, Pfizer and Moderna announced that their vaccines protect him.

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World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

When was it discovered: August 2020 in Nigeria.

The mutations: The variant includes a mutation called P681H which was also found in the British strain.

the meaning: It is found in about one percent of all corona cases that have been genetically engineered in Nigeria, and apparently continues to spread there. However, the morbidity rate in the rest of the world is very low.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

When was it discovered: July 2020 in genetic mapping of hundreds of specimens collected in Los Angeles.

the meaning: The virus is spreading in California, accounting for about 50 percent of corona cases in the state. The variant is still being studied and it is not known how sensitive it is to vaccines. The high mortality rate in the country raises fears that the strain is more violent.

World Health Organization classification: strain under surveillance

When was it discovered: November 2020.

the meaning: The strain has spread as far as is known from pimples to humans and the Danish government has decided Destroy about a million miners. Following a close closure in Denmark, the government announced that this strain was apparently extinct and no more patients carrying it were located.

What exactly is a mutation?

Unlike a bacterium, a living creature by itself, the virus cannot live outside a living cell. In order for the viruses to multiply one must infiltrate a living cell, take over the hereditary charge, “steal” it and replicate themselves in order to infect more cells. The virus is constantly trying to change the structure of the cell envelope into which it invades, in order to penetrate the body more easily, and also to prevent the body from recognizing it. This makes the virus more contagious, and its ability to reproduce intensifies.

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The corona virus also behaves the same way. Using the same “thorns” in the outer shell, corona viruses attach to receptors on the cells of the respiratory system, called ACE-2. This adhesion transports the corona virus to a second stage, in which additional envelope proteins dissolve the human cell envelope, and thus the virus penetrates into the cell nucleus, replicating itself through the hereditary charge of the human cell – the DNA found in the nucleus.

However, the corona virus does not always succeed in its work: many people infected with the virus will not develop any symptoms at all. The virus will be found in their bodies, but the immune system will be able to destroy it even before it has managed to penetrate the cells and cause destruction. In others, the virus will cause a very mild illness that will likely lead to a fever. In this condition, the body raises the temperature to lead to an uncomfortable environment for the activity of the corona virus, while circulating white blood cells that will destroy the virus.

If the virus is able to penetrate the cells of the respiratory system, it will begin to multiply and infect more cells quickly, creating a condition called “Immune storm”. In this condition the body injects huge amounts of white blood cells towards the viruses, which destroy them while also destroying healthy lung cells. This condition is known as pneumonia in which some patients get coronary heart disease.

In some cases the disease becomes very turbulent. More and more corona viruses are able to replicate rapidly, and the immune system is unable to cope with them. More and more lung cells are damaged, to the point of lung failure and the need for artificial respiration. The virus can also spread to the bloodstream and cause a state of sepsis – a common infection that leads to a drop in blood pressure – and later cardiac arrest and death.

What is the difference between a new strain and a mutation?

There is a terminological confusion between the two. A mutation is a genetic modification. A new strain of virus (“variant”), is a virus in which the same one or more genetic changes occur. A number of mutations have been found in the new corona strains. For example, 23 new mutations have been found in the British corona strain.

What is the difference between a mutated strain and infection with normal corona strains?

The new strains probably infect faster, especially those aged 20 and under, probably due to mutations in the virus envelope as well, which allow it to bind to the human cell more quickly, penetrate it and reproduce quickly. However, beyond the speed of infection, there does not appear to be a change in the nature of the disease itself that occurs with the same symptoms and complications known from the other strains.

What happens if a vaccine-resistant mutation still emerges?

In such a case, and thanks to the innovative mRNA technology, Pfizer and Moderna announced that within about six weeks they could complete a change in the vaccine so that it would be adapted to any possible mutation.

How can the mutations be defended in the meantime?

The same corona guidelines also apply to mutations: Wearing a mask, Social distance, and vaccination. As far as we get toHerd vaccination Faster, where over 80% of the population is vaccinated – this will reduce the risk of mutation spreading and the development of additional mutations.

 
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