A new strain of coronavirus first detected in Nigeria has made its way into the UK, with 32 cases reported so far. A prominent expert has warned the variant may prove resistant to the vaccines.
Coronavirus has undergone yet another mutation and this one has made its way on to UK soil from Nigeria.
There are growing fears that the variant will evade vaccine antibodies after it was revealed it contains the 484K mutation to the spike protein. This mutation has been found in the South Africa and Brazil variants – and is believed to help the disease evade the antibodies which attempt to stop it.
Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, sounded the alarm bell about the new strain’s potential resistance to current vaccines.
He told The Guardian: “We don’t yet know how well this [new] variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted.
“I think that until we know more about these variants, any variants which carry E484K should be subject to surge testing as it seems to confer resistance to immunity, however that is generated.”
So far, University of Edinburgh researchers have reportedly found 32 cases of the B1525 variant in Britain.
More than 100 cases of the B1525 variant have been found around the world, according to the University of Edinburgh team.