New nCoV variant from the UK evades human antibodies 2New nCoV variant from the UK evades human antibodies 2

This new variant was discovered by researchers at the University of Edinburgh through genome sequencing of patients in 10 countries.

The research team said the genome of this variant has similarities with the B117 variant spreading in the UK.

The E484K mutation found in variants that emerged in South Africa and Brazil is believed to help the virus avoid neutralizing antibodies.

The B1525 variant worries scientists because it contains a series of mutations and is resistant to vaccines.

Dr Simon Clarke, Associate Professor of Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said: `We still don’t know how this variant will spread, but if it does spread, it is likely to be resistant to vaccines or

Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University, is also concerned that the E484K mutation could potentially help nCoV escape human antibodies.

Professor Jonathan Stoye of the Francis Crick Institute said there was no surprise in the emergence of the B1525 variant and that it contained a number of familiar mutations.

`The E484K mutation seems to be an important change at this time for nCoV to fight the immune system, so we need to fine-tune the vaccine accordingly to cope,` Stoye said.

In addition, the B1525 variant also contains the Q677H mutation newly discovered in the US.

Dr Lucy van Dorp, of the Institute of Genetics at University College London, said rapid detection of new variants was vital.

Public Health England (PHE) said: `PHE is closely monitoring data on new variants and taking the necessary public health interventions such as further testing and increased contact tracing.

`There is currently no evidence that this set of mutations causes more severe disease or increases transmissibility,` said a PHE representative.

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