New Nigerian Variant Continues The Trend Of Dangerous Strains Threatening Covid-19 Progress

The near-simultaneous detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants from the four corners of the globe deepens our uncertainty regarding the future of the pandemic and our ability to control Covid-19.  How serious the problem will be will depend on how many different variants there are, how they differ from one another, how capable they are of reinfecting people, and of resisting current and future vaccines. In this context, here we describe the newfound Nigerian variant (B.1.525). In an effort to discuss how variants differ from one another, this new strain helps to answer this question. It carries a variety of mutations mirroring those seen in previous dubious variants, as well as some unique to its structure. This only adds to the complexity of vaccine development in the weeks and months to come. B.1.525 was first detected by genome sequence in mid-December in its native Nigeria but was also quickly found in cases in the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere. After only two months, B.1.525 represented over 20% of genomes sequenced in Nigeria and was identified in around 200 cases globally. While not as prolific as some other variants, its proliferation in Nigeria may spell danger for a region of the world that has been relatively less affected than Europe or North and South America. Read the full article on Forbes.
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