COVID-19 Pandemic Invites Added Danger of New Strain Mu Variant


as per the COVID epidemiological report.

Mu is the fifth COVID-19 variant to be detected since March 2021. It was first recognized in Colombia in January 2021. Nonetheless, it has now been confirmed in at the very least 39 international locations.

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“Mu has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape. Preliminary data presented to the Virus Evolution Working Group show a reduction in neutralization capacity of convalescent and vaccine sera similar to that seen for the Beta variant, but this needs to be confirmed by further studies,”
says the WHO.

Since the variant has genetic mutations, it halts the pure immunity in addition to monoclonal antibody therapies . However, additional research are mandated to show the contagiousness, lethal nature, and resistance to present vaccines and coverings.

Global Prevalence

As the an infection charges are reaching their heights globally once more with the extremely transmissible Delta variant, there’s a broad concern over the evolution of latest virus mutations. The world prevalence of the Mu variant has been declined and is at the moment beneath 0.1% amongst sequenced instances.

But the instances in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) have proven a gradual uptick in its prevalence. Experts around the globe are on a quest to discover if the Mu variant is extra transmissible and harmful than the Delta variant.

“The epidemiology of the Mu variant in South America, particularly with the co-circulation of the Delta variant, will be monitored for changes,”
says WHO.

Viral Mutation

Any change within the genetic materials of an organism, corresponding to broken DNA causes mutation. It leads to the alteration of the genetic message carried by that gene. Generally, all of the viruses, together with SARS-CoV-2 mutate over time.

These genetic mutations could have little or no impact on the properties of the virus. However, sure mutations could impression the viral properties and affect the severity of the illness. These adjustments can also trigger resistance to vaccines, medication, and different countermeasures.

With few stories on the phenotypic and medical traits of the Mu variant at the moment, the WHO points a warning in opposition to the ‘immune escape’ potential of the variant to beat vaccine protection.

Rising Numbers of Mu Variant

Over the previous 4 weeks with 4,500 genome sequences (3,794 B.1.621 sequences and 856 B.1.621.1 sequences) analyzed, the info designated these samples as Mu variants. These sequence knowledge assist observe the motion of this virus by the group on GISAID, an open-source genome repository.

The bigger outbreaks of the Mu variant had been reported in South America, and Europe,
together with the instances being reported within the US, UK, and Hong Kong. So far, the United States has recorded 4000 instances of the Mu variant.

The sample of infections within the UK depicts that it was introduced in by vacationers on a number of events particularly in London and in individuals of their 20s as per a report by Public Health England (PHE) in July.

The variant C.1.2 has been present in international locations like China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland.

Alarming Concern

The PHE has included the brand new variant into the listing of variants beneath investigation as VUI-21JUL-01 in July. This entails periodical monitoring of the variant for its habits.

The threat evaluation of the Mu variant by the PHE (August 2021) recommended that the variant is at the very least as resistant because the Beta variant to coronavirus immunity.

The considerations of viral mutations carried by the Mu variant embrace the P681H mutation (sooner transmission) that was discovered within the Alpha variant. The others embrace E484K and K417N mutations (which can assist the virus evade immunity defenses).

However, laboratory research and real-world instances (with sooner spreading capability) of the variant are required to attract additional conclusions.

“At present, there is no evidence that VUI-21JUL-01 is outcompeting the Delta variant and it appears unlikely that it is more transmissible,” the report states, although it goes on to warn: “Immune escape may contribute to future changes in growth.”


  1. Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants

Source: Medindia

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