Epidemiologists have revealed the role of humans in the emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 :: Society :: RBC

Among other treatments that could possibly lead to the emergence of a new population of the virus, Barnova called blood plasma transfusion from a person with a coronovirus infection who had a large number of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. “If plasma is used to treat a person who has long-term immunosuppression, that is, the virus has been multiplied over a long period of time, there is a chance that it is a carrier of many different populations. [вируса]… Antibodies in plasma will only kill the type of virus with which they can interact. And those who are left will have the opportunity to replace the deceased leader. General natural selection, or rather, in this case, already artificial, ”Barnova explained.


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In addition, according to the expert, the rate of presence of virus mutations may be influenced by drugs affecting viral polymerase, for example, arepilvir and coronavir, or used in treatment protocols for COIDID-19 in the UK RamsAdvir.

“These drugs spoil the function of viral polymerase, the virus grows with great difficulty, but if it does, it repeats with errors and accumulates more mutations. And it creates a variety of viral particles – selection. Ingredients for. Baranova said, if you put coronoviruses in poor conditions, uncontrolled viruses will die, and the more they survive, the more fit they will be.

Two more countries have closed borders due to a new coronavirus strain

Фото: Stephanie McGahi / Reuters

“This is the result of our actions to save lives. We will continue to save lives anyway. This means that we will have such versions of the virus at all times, ”the expert said, noting the futility of efforts to close the borders with Great Britain. “We will not survive this way, because the virus will come anyway, and even if we imagine a situation that borders have been successfully closed, we will still independently develop variants in our home , Which will be selected therapeutically to avoid the action of antibodies, “notes he.

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It is by no means close to the borders of countries to deal with the spread of a new strain of infection, agrees epidemiologist Mikhail Favrov, head of medical research company DiaPrep Systems Inc.

“If the virus is not a serious cause [COVID-19], But causes a higher incidence, this means that more people will become ill. Equal population immunity will be formed, which is necessary to end the epidemic. So, to limit the virus, which is more contagious, but less severe, I personally don’t really understand, “he said. Favrov noted that the virus has been circulating since September, but only now. They have started tightening restrictions.

According to him, dozens, if not hundreds of mutations occur every day in the world, then it is possible to identify only those that become quite common in viral populations. Favrov said that the highest possible infectivity and low severity of the disease are “beneficial” for the pathogen. “For a virus, if a person dies due to the disease, it is bad, because the virus dies with that person,” the epidemiologist explained.

WHO assesses the risk of a new strain of COVID-19

Photo: Vadim Girda / AP

Mikhail Favrov noted that the presence of the mutation would not affect the protective properties of the vaccine. According to him, the genome of a virus has two types of nucleic sequences: regions that can be easily changed, and those that cannot change the virus, otherwise it will die and not be able to multiply. “All vaccines operate on a ‘conservative’ site – one that does not change. Therefore, practically all substitutions that occur may not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine,” he said. He added that the virus “dozens, if Mutations occur every day, if not hundreds. “

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Jeremy Rossman, a virologist at the University of Kent (UK), told RBC that it is still difficult to assess the properties of the new SARS-CoV-2 strains identified in the country. “With a significant degree of probability, we can say that this strain is more contagious and, perhaps, may not respond to antibody-based anti-COVID therapy. At the same time, it seems that infection with this strain of the virus causes symptoms similar to others in humans, and the vaccine is an effective remedy against it, ”says Rossman.

However, according to him, so far conclusions can only be drawn at the level of speculation. “It is possible that we will have complete information in the coming days or weeks,” he concluded.

He also agrees that it is too late to try to stop the virus from reaching other European countries. “The virus has been found in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia and I believe will be found in other countries. Travel restrictions are unlikely to change the situation in any way, ”says Virologist.

Rosman said wearing masks, social distance and good hygiene is the best way to fight the virus. At the same time, according to him, there are possible situations in which a new strain of coronovirus could cause infection, whereas infection with a conventional strain could have been avoided. For example, it concerns close contact between two masked people. Perhaps, with normal stress, there will be no infection in this case, but a new version of the virus will lead to the transmission of COVID, ”experts agree.

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The UK announced the emergence of a new, more infectious strain of coronavirus on 14 December. A new type of virus was identified in London, the counties of Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire, and more than 1,000 people were infected. This variant of the virus has been circulating since September.

A few days later, the WHO announced the identification of a new strain in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. The WHO noted that although the mutation caused more infectivity, the virus did not become more lethal. At the same time, so far, there is no scientific evidence that he reacts to available vaccines in any way.

Due to the emergence of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2, various countries have canceled flights with the UK. These include Belgium, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and others. Russia also announced suspension of flights with Britain.

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