Implications of the Emergence of a New Variant of SARS-CoV-2, VUI-202012/01

Date

2021

Authors

Rahimi, Farid
Abadi, Amin Talebi Bezmin

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Abstract

Twelve months after the realization that SARS-CoV-2 caused a respiratory syndrome in Wuhan, China, with the constantly worsening COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis globally, and with international news of vaccine development, a new viral variant, referred to as “SARS-CoV-2 VUI-202012/01” or “B.1.1.7” has been reported in London and southeast England. The variant may have emerged in late September 2020 and carries some 17 mutations. Whether a single or a combination of different mutations would change the viral transmissibility, virulence, clinical and epidemiological presentations, or vaccine efficiency is unknown. Transmission by asymptomatic carriers of the new variant is also unknown. Mutation pressure by antiviral agents or vaccines have not yet been induced; however, additional mutations are expected following global vaccination and, later, after administration of validated treatments. Thus, preparedness for fast emergence of new variants is prudent. One can also expect less virulent but highly transmissible variants, which could facilitate herd immunity. Development of clinical and rapid laboratory tests is required to follow up the vaccinated individuals for a secondary infection potentially by the new variant. Importantly, restrictive countermeasures, personal hygiene, face-masking, spatial distancing, and travel bans remain pertinent in fighting the virus.

Description

Keywords

COVID-19, mutation, SARS-CoV-2, variant, B.1.1.7 lineage, VUI-202012/01

Citation

Source

Archives of Medical Research

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1016/j.arcmed.2021.01.001

Restricted until

2099-12-31