SARS-Ninja-CoV-3

The UK news is reporting that the virus is developing a “superpower”. Not sure that this is a good thing to be doing. It will freak some people out and others might even believe it. There is a lot of imagination out there. It might be changing so as to need different antibodies to counter it is perhaps a better way of saying it. Decoding complex scientific articles is not easy unless you are a specialist. I have a science background and from time to time I like to check the source materials:

Comprehensive mapping of mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain that affect recognition by polyclonal human serum antibodies.

 

Escape from neutralizing antibodies by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variants.

 

mRNA-1273 vaccine induces neutralizing antibodies against spike mutants from global SARS-CoV-2 variants.

These articles are reduced into “one liners” for the news. I can get the gist because of my training but I do not get the details because it is not my field of expertise. It is pretty complicated stuff.

But it is a race. Every time the virus replicates it is prone to mutate. The more replications, the more mutations. The more hosts the more mutations. Several million hosts increases the likelihood of any mutation by sampling the possibilities. If I have understood it the RSA and the UK versions are suggesting that one type of mutation is more probable. Sooner or later the virus will mutate sufficiently that the current vaccines won’t be effective against it. Probably not a matter of if but when.

When will it have mutated sufficiently that it gets deemed a whole new virus? I don’t know how these things are classified.

I wish people would stop making reckless “good news” soundbites. If I hear “light at the end of the tunnel” again…yaargh..It is a marathon and not a sprint!!

Just when you thought it was safe to go out of lockdown along comes SARS-Ninja-CoV-3 and a whole new cycle of vaccine development and clinical trial begins. I suspect however that the work is already underway towards the next generation of vaccines.