Without a trace from variant most contagious coronavirus discovered in the UK -for the moment- in 40 Spanish hospitals, after analyzing samples from more than 40 clinical microbiology units and sequencing centers. This work by a team of researchers from Valencia also consists of permanent monitoring of Covid-19 to detect possible mutations that influence its ability to spread and its resistance to vaccines.
However, to confirm that there is no presence of this new strain, they have intensified the sampling and sequencing it carries out, according to sources from the Generalitat.
Thus, Valencian researchers permanently monitor the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, in search of mutations that modify its virulence, its ability to infect people or its resistance to vaccines.
In that sense, they have received 10,000 samples from hospitals throughout Spain and have already achieved more than 5,000 sequences of the virus genome. At the moment, the Valencian teams have not detected the British variant in Spain, which is attributed a greater transmission capacity, but not a greater severity of the disease, according to the same sources.
The working group is led by specialists from the Fisabio Foundation and the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia of the Higher Council for Scientific Research, who work together with professionals from the Institute of Integrative Systems Biology, also from the CSIC, and of the University of Valencia.
This expert staff collaborates with more than 40 clinical microbiology units in hospitals throughout Spain and sequencing centers to continuously monitor the evolution of the virus in our country.
On an international scale
Since May, these professionals have been sequencing the virus without interruption. Thus, they have received about 10,000 samples and have already processed and obtained more than 5,000 sequences of the coronavirus. The information they obtain is shared with the rest of the community scientific international with a single objective: to better understand the virus and to monitor if it experiences mutations that can make it more aggressive or resistant to vaccines that are under investigation or have already been developed.
This scientific collaboration is what has made possible the discovery of the United Kingdom variant that, according to preliminary data, is more easily transmitted, but is not more deadly or causes a more serious form of the disease or reduces the effectiveness of vaccines. according to the same sources.
In this regard, the researcher from the Genomics and Health Area of Fisabio, Fernando González Candelas, explained that the variant identified in the United Kingdom has 17 mutations and some of them could be involved in a certain loss of activity of one of the many antibodies that will be generated in people who are vaccinated. Therefore, “it does not seem that overall it compromises the efficacy of the vaccine.”
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