This alternative can be immunized against others

Agence France-Presse / L.

According to a preliminary study, people with the South African type have better immunity to the primary strain of coronavirus and other variants.

This study was conducted by the South African scientific team that discovered the South African variant 501Y.V2 but has not been submitted for evaluation by the scientific community and includes very few subjects. However, it raises hopes that a vaccine based on this alternative can protect against future mutations in the Corona virus

High level of antibodies

According to the data for this study, provided by a group of scientists grouped together in the Genome Monitoring Network (South Africa NGS-SA), only 4% of 55 people actually infected with 501Y.V2 were unable to conquer the disease. Contamination with the original strain of the new Corona virus.

Scientists from South Africa said on Wednesday that plasma taken from people infected with the variant has “good neutralizing activity” against “first wave” viruses and possibly other disturbing new variants.

Virologist Tolio de Oliveira explained in a video conference that “501Y.V2 can generate a high level of antibodies capable of neutralizing it,” indicating an immune response that outweighs that of other variants.

During this conference, the South African Minister of Health, Zwaili Mkhize, described the discovery as “good news for everyone,” saying that it represented hope to accelerate the control of the epidemic.

According to this study, the antibodies generated from the South African variant were also found to be 100% effective against the Brazilian variant, in a very small sample of seven patients.

Hope for a vaccine

“The results (of this study) basically tell us that we have good hopes for success if we create a vaccine,” said Salem Abdelkrim, an epidemiologist and senior advisor to the South African government.

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Mutations in the new Corona virus, some of which appear to be more contagious, have dampened enthusiasm about vaccination campaigns, as some vaccines appeared to be less effective against them. Manufacturers recently modified their vaccines slightly to accommodate mutations.

The American laboratory Moderna recently announced that it will start a clinical trial of a version of its vaccine specifically adapted for the South African variant in mid-March.

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