Scientists sound alarm over triple mutant “Bengal strain” | India News

KOLKATA: The Covid-19 virus that makes the rounds in Bengal is increasingly found to be a triple indigenous mutation (B.1.618), only the second identified in India after the double mutant type (B.1.617) reported last month, reports Subhro Niyogi.
The “Bengal strain”, as a scientist called it, could be more infectious and – something experts consider particularly worrying – may be able to escape a person’s immune surveillance, even if that person was previously exposed to a virus without it mutation, and even if vaccinated.
However, there has not yet been scientific research to corroborate or dispel the fears.
“Triple-mutant is the immune escape option”
The proportion of B.1.618 has increased significantly in recent months in Bengal, ”said Vinod Scaria, who is researching genome mutations at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology on Twitter, adding that“ together with B.1.617 it forms a major progeny factor in Bengal ”.
IGIB is part of the SARS-Cov-2 genomic consortia in India (INSACOG), which was created to monitor and study whether Indians received foreign variants through travelers. During these studies, the double mutant variant (containing E484Q and L452R mutations) was identified, mainly from Maharashtra try.
What worries scientists is that the triple mutation variant carries the E484K mutation, a feature 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 have been previously infected with another strain or even if you have been vaccinated,” said Sreedhar Chinnaswamy of National Institute of Biomedical Genomics.