Novel SARS-CoV-2 variants: the pandemics within the pandemic

Boehm, Erik and Kronig, Ilona and Neher, Richard A. and Eckerle, Isabella and Vetter, Pauline and Kaiser, Laurent. (2021) Novel SARS-CoV-2 variants: the pandemics within the pandemic. Clinical microbiology and infection, 27 (8). pp. 1109-1117.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/84935/

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Many new variants of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been termed variants of concern/interest (VOC/I) because of the greater risk they pose due to possible enhanced transmissibility and/or severity, immune escape, diagnostic and/or treatment failure, and reduced vaccine efficacy.; We sought to review the current knowledge of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, particularly those deemed VOC/Is: B.1.351, B.1.1.7, and P.1.; MEDLINE and BioRxiv databases, as well as the grey literature, were searched for reports of SARS-CoV-2 variants since November 2020. Relevant articles and their references were screened.; Mutations on the spike protein in particular may affect both affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 cell receptor ACEII and antibody binding. These VOC/Is often share similar mutation sets. The N501Y mutation is shared by the three main VOCs: B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom, P.1, originating from Brazil, and B.1.351, first described in South Africa. This mutation likely increases transmissibility by increasing affinity for ACEII. The B.1.351 and P.1 variants also display the E484K mutation which decreases binding of neutralizing antibodies, leading to partial immune escape; this favours reinfections, and decreases the in vitro efficacy of some antibody therapies or vaccines. Those mutations may also have phenotypical repercussions of greater severity. Furthermore, the accumulation of mutations poses a diagnostic risk (lowered when using multiplex assays), as seen for some assays targeting the S gene. With ongoing surveillance, many new VOC/Is have been identified. The emergence of the E484K mutation independently in different parts of the globe may reflect the adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 to humans against a background of increasing immunity.; These VOC/Is are increasing in frequency globally and pose challenges to any herd immunity approach to managing the pandemic. While vaccination is ongoing, vaccine updates may be prudent. The virus continues to adapt to transmission in humans, and further divergence from the initial Wuhan sequences is expected.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Computational & Systems Biology > Computational Modeling of Biological Processes (Neher)
UniBasel Contributors:Neher, Richard A
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Feb 2022 11:05
Deposited On:14 Feb 2022 11:05

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