So far, the mutant B.1.617 from India, which is now classified as a cause for concern, has been found in only a few samples. But the trend is increasing.
Berlin (dpa) – The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany is observing a growing proportion of the corona variant discovered in India at a very low level.
The mutant B.1.617, now classified as alarming, has only been found in a few samples so far, “but its proportion has steadily increased in recent weeks,” according to an RKI report. Their share in the examined samples is therefore less than two percent (sub-variant B.1617.1: 0.6 percent; B.1617.2: 0.9 percent). The RKI emphasizes that the absolute numbers of evidence in the week of April 26 to May 2 were only in double digits: more than 30.
So far, no attenuation of the high proportion of the significantly more infectious variant B.1.1.7 discovered in Britain has been observed, the institute continues. As in the previous weeks, this makes up more than 90 percent of the samples examined. Variants B.1.351 (South Africa) and P.1 (Brazil), which are also classified as worrying, continue to play a minor role: their share has remained constant at 0 to 1 percent and 0 to 0.3 percent, according to the RKI the past weeks. In Germany only a small proportion of the samples are examined for variants.
The Indian variety has recently been identified as a cause for concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). The RKI writes: The classification of such variants allows for better monitoring, “for example through targeted PCR testing and whole genome sequencing in the context of the Coronavirus Surveillance Ordinance (CorSurV)”.
According to the RKI, the Indian variant is characterized by mutations associated with a reduced effectiveness of the immune response. However, initial data from laboratory experiments indicated that the effectiveness of vaccines was “not materially compromised,” it is said. There is also evidence of increased transferability.
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