Home 2 Forums Covid -19 The Lambda coronavirus variant arrived in Australia

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    Sunil Kumar

    We’ve seen the Alpha, Kappa and Delta variants now Lambda

    All SARS-CoV-2 variants are distinguished from one another by mutations in their spike proteins — the components of the virus that allow it to invade human cells.

    For instance, the Delta variant first detected in India has two key spike protein mutations — T478K and L452R — that allow it to infect cells more easily and evade the body’s immune response.

    According to research published last week but yet to be peer reviewed, Lambda has seven unique spike protein mutations.

    They found the Lambda variant has a mutation called L452Q, which is similar to the L452R mutation seen in the Delta and Epsilon variants.

    As the L452R mutation is thought to make Delta and Epsilon more infectious and resilient against vaccination, the team concluded that Lambda’s L452Q mutation might also help it spread far and wide.

    While it’s possible that Lambda is indeed more infectious than other variants, it’s too early to know for sure, said Kirsty Short, a virologist at the University of Queensland.

    Key points:

    The Lambda variant is one of 11 official SARS-CoV-2 variants recognised by the World Health Organization

    It was first detected in Peru and has spread to 29 countries, including Australia

    A new study that has yet to be peer-reviewed found signs that the variant could be more infectious and harder to tackle with vaccination, but it’s early days

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