A new variant of COVID-19 with deadly mutations that give it “increased resistance to antibodies” was discovered in a Kentucky nursing home.
The variant, called R.1, infected 45 residents and employees in the facility, including some who were fully vaccinated.
R.1 originated in Japan, and has now racked up over 10,000 entries in the GISAID SARS-CoV-2 database, which researchers use to record genomic data.
Scientist William A. Haseltine writes in Forbes:”R.1 is a variant to watch. It has established a foothold in both Japan and the United States.
He added that it features several unique mutations that could give it advantages in “transmission, replication, and immune suppression.”
One of these, a mutation termed E484K located in the spike protein of the virus, gives it an “increased resistance” to antibodies generated by the vaccine.
R.1 shares an additional mutation, the D614G, with all other variants that have overtaken the original alpha strain, which increases its infectiousness.
It comes as the world crosses the grim milestone of 229million global COVID infections and a death toll of 4.7million on Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins tracker.
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Source: the Sun