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Scientists Sound the Alarm on Triple Mutant “Bengal Strain” | India News


KOLKATA: The Covid-19 virus that is circulating in Bengal is increasingly found as an indigenous triple mutation (B.1.618), only the second identified in India after the double mutant type (B.1.617) last reported month, reports Subhro Niyogi.
The ‘Bengal strain’, as one scientist has dubbed it, could be more infectious and, something experts find particularly concerning, may be able to escape a person’s immune surveillance, even if that person was previously exposed to a virus without this mutation. , and even if you are vaccinated.
However, no scientific research has yet been conducted to substantiate or rule out the fears.
‘Triple-mutant is an immune escape variant’
The proportion of B.1.618 has been growing significantly in recent months in Bengal, ”said Vinod Scaria, who researches genome mutations at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology on Twitter, adding,“ along with B.1.617 form an important lineage in Bengal ”.
The IGIB is part of the Indian SARS-Cov-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG), which was created to monitor and study whether Indians obtained foreign variants through travelers. It was during these studies that the double mutant variant (containing the E484Q and L452R mutations) was identified, mainly from samples from Maharashtra.
What worries scientists is that the triple mutation variant carries the E484K mutation, a characteristic of the South African and Brazilian variants, which is known to be an immune escape variant. “In other words, you may not be safe from this variant even if you had previously been infected by another strain, or even if you were vaccinated,” said Sreedhar Chinnaswamy of the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics.

Times of India