A new threat: Delta is followed by Lambda strain
In other words, vaccines provide less protection against this variant of the virus.
Although the first lambda strain of coronavirus was registered in Peru a year ago, relatively very little is known about this mutant strain.
That is why the latest study from Japan is important; according to it, the lambda-soy spike protein carries three mutations that are of particular concern:
- One mutation results in antibodies being less able to neutralize the virus. In other words, the immunity of those vaccinated and those who got infected by the coronavirus is reduced. Thus, vaccines provide less protection against infection.
- The other two mutations make it easier for people to become infected with the lambda variant, claims the study from Japan, offering the results which have yet to be confirmed by independent scientists.
It spreads very fast
The results of the study may explain why this strain of coronavirus is spreading so fast. So far, the lambda variant has been discovered in 30 countries, primarily in South America, but individual cases have also been registered in Europe - Spain, Great Britain, Italy and Germany.
For now, The World Health Organization has declared that this variant is "a variant under investigation". However, according to Japanese scientists, lambda fulfills all the conditions to be declared as a "worrying strain".
These "worrying strains" include the delta strain, which was first identified in India. For now, it is unlikely that the lambda will suppress the currently dominant delta variant.
A risk to endangered groups
Although the efficacy of the vaccines against the coronavirus have been impaired by the delta strain, there are still relatively few serious cases of infection in...