Sumary of The Lambda variant: is it more infectious, and can it escape vaccines? A virologist explains:
- This is due to mutations thought to affect the virus’ characteristics, such as how easily it’s transmitted.
- Epidemiological evidence is still mounting as to the exact threat Lamda poses.
- So, at this stage more research is required to say for certain how its mutations impact transmission, its ability to evade protection from vaccines, and the severity of disease.
- Preliminary evidence suggests Lambda has an easier time infecting our cells and is a bit better at dodging our immune systems.
- Mutations affecting the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can increase infectivity, which is the ability of the virus to infect cells.
- What’s more, as many of the coronavirus vaccines currently available or in development are based on the spike protein, changes to the spike protein in new variants can impact vaccine effectiveness Lambda contains multiple mutations to the spike protein.
- One mutation (F490S) has already been associated with reduced susceptibility to antibodies generated in patients who had recovered from COVID.
- Another Lambda mutation (L452Q) is at the same position in the spike protein as a previously studied mutation found in the Delta variant (L452R).