The big joker in the elongated corona game is the different variants of coronavirus that threaten a possible reopening. In addition, there are mutations that can affect one or more of the variants.
In particular, the British variant, B117, currently plays a major role in government calculations. On Saturday, the Statens Serum Institut also updated its status on the mutation E484K, which has been seen in several virus variants.
Read more about the five variants that the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) pays special attention to.
* Virus variant B117:
The variant was first detected in September last year in England.
There is widespread agreement that the variant is more contagious than other types of coronavirus. The increased infectivity is estimated to be between 35 and 75 percent. In Denmark, the relative contact number for the variant shows that it is 55 percent more contagious than other variants.
Analyzes have indicated that B117 did not cause more serious illness. Preliminary results from recent studies, however, suggest that there may be increased mortality from infection with the variant.
Whether B117 causes more serious illness is being further investigated. Preliminary results suggest only slightly decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies.
In England, however, B117 has been found with an additional mutation, E484K. This is worrying, writes SSI, because studies have shown that E484K provides reduced sensitivity to antibodies. According to SSI, this is not the case in Denmark.
* Virus variant B1351:
This virus variant was first detected in South Africa last October.
It has several mutations in the spike protein on the surface of the virus. Especially three of them – K417N, E484K and N501Y – worry the researchers. It is possible that some of them may affect the infectivity or susceptibility of the variant to antibodies.
Studies have shown that the E484K mutation results in decreased sensitivity to antibodies. Decreased susceptibility to antibodies raises concerns about the effect of vaccines on this variant and the risk of re-infection.
So far, eight cases of the variant with the mutation in question have been registered in Denmark. They are all related to travel.
* Virus variant P1:
In January this year, Brazil and Japan reported on the variant P1, which was first found in the Brazilian city of Manaus and among travelers from Japan who had been to Brazil.
The variant has ten mutations in the spike protein. Especially three of them are important to keep an eye on. As the variant has the mutation N501Y, which also has the British and the South African variant, there is a strong suspicion that the variant P1 has increased infectivity. However, this has not been conclusively proven.
It is not known whether the variant causes more serious disease.
P1 also has the mutation E484K, which studies have linked to decreased sensitivity to antibodies.
* Virus variant P2:
This variant was found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in late December last year.
Like variant P1, this variant also has the mutation E484K, which studies associate with decreased sensitivity to antibodies. It is not known whether the variant causes more serious disease.
* Virus variant N439K:
The variant was first detected in Scotland in March last year, but it has also been seen in a number of other countries. In Europe, it is especially in Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Romania.
There is an increased focus on this variant, as studies show that N439K, among other things, indicates reduced sensitivity to antibodies.
There is no evidence that this variant affects the effect of vaccines. Nor is there any indication of increased infectivity or a more serious course of the disease.
There is nothing in this variant to suggest that it is more serious than the general picture with coronavirus in Denmark.
Source: Statens Serum Institut (SSI).
Source: The Nordic Page