A new domestic study says vaccinated people have at least some protection against the South African variant of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus The variants developed in South Africa and Brazil have mutations that are difficult from a human point of view. These mutations that alter the structure of the peak protein – scientifically called K417N, E484K and N501Y – help the virus to partially evade certain antibodies. Thus, they weaken the immunity provided by vaccines and pre-existing coronary heart disease.
– Research data show that the South African variant, as well as the Brazilian / Japanese variant, have such changes in the surface protein of the virus that the immune protection provided by the vaccine is clearly weaker. But yes, there is immune protection, said the professor of virology at the University of Turku Ilkka Julkunen To IS on Wednesday.
Julkunen talks about the Brazilian / Japanese variant, as this variant was first observed in Japan. The conversion was found by tourists from Brazil last December.
University of Turku, Turku University Central Hospital, the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District HUS have recently completed a recent study on variants and vaccine protection. The study has not yet been published.
– We have just analyzed 180 vaccinees. Most can also measure so-called neutralizing antibodies against this South African variant, Julkunen told IS on Wednesday.
The study is the first of its kind in Finland. The necessary laboratory analyzes were performed in Turku.
– More than 90 percent of vaccinees produced antibodies against the South African variant after receiving two doses of the vaccine. The antibody level was clearly lower, only one-fifth of what it is against the British variant and the virus strains in the vaccines, Julkunen said.
Because the variants in South Africa and Brazil are similar, it may be that the immune protection provided by vaccines and the previously contracted disease is also impaired in the latter. It still doesn’t fall to zero.
Antibodies however, are not the only thing that makes the immune system blissful.
– Here is the complexity that although the antibodies can be found to be impaired by measurements, humans also have so-called cell-bound or cell-mediated immunity. It’s so broad-spectrum that it doesn’t care about small changes in the viral protein, Julkunen said.
– Cell-mediated immunity is actually equally good against all virus strains. It is not automatic that the protection afforded by a vaccine or disease is in any way significantly reduced in terms of cell-mediated immunity.
The British variant is not of particular concern in terms of vaccine and immune protection from a previously acquired disease.
Development work on first-generation coronary vaccines began a year ago, before new viral variants spread. Therefore, the active substances in the current vaccines are based on the first virus strains to be introduced.
According to Julkunen, current vaccines bite just as well into the British variant observed last fall as into previous strains. The British variant already causes 70 percent of new infections in the HUS area.
– The British variant is not of particular concern in terms of vaccine and immune protection from a previously acquired disease. Julkunen estimates.
British conversion in addition, variants from South Africa and Brazil have already landed in Finland. 149 cases of the South African variant and one case of the Brazilian variant have been identified, said THL, a leading expert at the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Carita Savolainen-Kopra on Monday To the medical journal. There are a total of about 73,000 corona cases confirmed by laboratory tests in Finland.
The British transformation may evolve with evolution. Studies of the viral genome have found a few individual mutations in E484K in the UK – usually this antibody-avoiding change does not occur in the UK variant. Thus, E484K, which gives the virus its ability to dodge, may also become more common in the British variant, as it gives the virus an advantage.
A good question is how concerned about the transformations in South Africa and Brazil should be in Finland.
– With regard to the South African variant, the situation is still calm and has not started to spread as fast as the British variant. In some areas, it has appeared more and wrinkles have appeared, Savolainen-Kopra told Lääkärilehti.
With regard to the South African variant, the situation is still calm and has not started to spread as fast as the British variant.
According to the medical magazine, the South African variant has been found in Pirkanmaa and Eastern Savonia in addition to the HUS area. There was a recent cluster of infection in the latter area caused by a bus passenger who sneezed unmasked. In addition, individual cases are known.
– I understand that the traceability situation with regard to the South African variant is good and the chains have been able to be clarified, Savolainen-Kopra told the newspaper.
The virus The information on the viral variant spread among exchange students in Turku was published on Wednesday. It was confirmed in studies as a South African variant, but the Turku version is not genetically identical to the “original” South African variant. He told me about it Hospital District of Southwest Finland in its bulletin.
– We found that it is probably a modified virus, and the so-called gene sequencing ensured that the virus has several other changes in addition to those characteristic of the South African variant. So far, we don’t know where the variant came from. These will become clear later when the entire genome of the virus is known, Tyks Chief Physician of Molecular Microbiology and Virology Tytti Vuorinen said in a press release.
Is this a new virus variant? It will be confirmed later in so-called whole genome sequencing, the hospital district reported. So far, there is no information on whether a similar modified variant has been found in other countries.
Professor Julkunen does not want to start wondering whether the South African transformation will prevail in Finland. Director of HUS Diagnostics Lasse Lehtonen warned On Twitter and said he feared that the South African transformation would cause the fourth wave of the epidemic in Finland.
– Lasse Lehtonen may be right, but he may also be wrong. Maybe it will be kept under control, Julkunen pondered.
The Brazilian variant P1, in turn, has drastically increased disease mortality in Brazil and pushed the entire country to the point of health breakdown. The threat is that P1 will go on a world tour. There are already warning messages about this too.
– We can’t turn our backs on Brazil, tweeted US epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding.
– If we lose control of P1, the whole world is in danger. If we allow Brazil to collapse, the world will be endangered. The world must act decisively to help Brazil.
This is how Professor Julkunen assesses the threat of the spread of P1:
– It is not excluded when there is tourism here, however. If it is susceptible, it has the potential to spread. Let’s hope it stays away. Impossible to predict whether it will come here or not, I am not willing to speculate on it.
South Africa the transformation, on the other hand, has one good side if it now comforts anyone.
Patients with the disease caused by this variant would appear to develop antibodies that bite well into all viral variants. This is indicated by a limited study in South Africa involving 55 patients.
Knowledge promises good for the development of vaccines. If a modified, new generation of vaccines is made for the South African variant, it can be expected to provide good protective efficacy against other variants as well.
Source site www.is.fi