By Iris Velázquez. The Institute for Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference (INDRE) confirmed the presence in Mexico of the SARS-CoV-2 E484K mutation, of the Brazilian variant P.2, reported the University of Guadalajara (UdeG).
José Francisco Muñoz Valle, Rector of the University Center for Health Sciences and General Coordinator of the Health Situation Room for Covid-19 at UdeG, confirmed the news.
Of the mutations that have currently been described, he explained, E484K is one of the most worrisome, as it is associated with the decrease in virus neutralization up to ten times. This mutation is identified in the South African and Brazilian variants (P.1 and P.2), he added.
« What could happen is that the vaccines were less effective or reinfections occur, but studies are lacking to verify to what extent the efficacy of the vaccine can decrease, » he explained.
Given this situation, INDRE recommends a clinical and epidemiological follow-up, for which the University has defined to start with a Molecular Epidemiological Surveillance System for SARS-CoV-2 in the samples of positive patients, which allow to implement effective control strategies against the Covid-19.
Mutations could make vaccines less effective. Photo: Reformation.
« It is important to know how the patients’ symptoms behave. At the moment, the cases that were detected were not serious and that leaves us calm, but there are few samples, » he said.
« At the moment more than a thousand samples have been analyzed, corresponding to the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, where these four cases were detected and we have another 9 samples to be validated, so it is still not enough to say what would be the implication that this could have « .
Muñoz Valle explained that having this surveillance system will allow to identify to what extent the frequency of this mutation is growing, which will contribute to the control of the pandemic.
On January 29, he recalled, the UdeG released the first four positive cases of Covid-19 with the E484K mutation, after an intentional search and in collaboration with the Mexican company GENES2LIFE.
On February 15, the first report from INDRE was received that confirms that the four samples from Jalisco contain the SARS-CoV-2 E484K mutation, which was found using the rapid molecular search method to detect the most clinically relevant mutations. designed by UdeG and GENES2LIFE « , he detailed.
« While on February 18 we received the second INDRE report specifying that the phylogenomic analyzes belong to the P.2 variant detected for the first time in Brazil, which confirms the circulating presence of the Brazilian variant in Mexico. »
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