Spike And Nucleocapsid Protein Mutations In Tanzanian And Ugandan Strains Of SARS-CoV-2 Demand Attention

Virus variation is a major driver of current infections. All SARS-CoV-2 variants sweeping almost all areas of the world today, including variants of concern Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, originally derived from the Triad variant (D614G). This variant was the first major variant of the Wuhan strain and includes D614G in the Spike (S) protein, P323L in the NSP12 polymerase, and C241U in the 5’ untranslated region.

We have previously noted two outliers that differentiate from the Triad template, both originating in East Africa. These are the A.23.1 strain in Uganda and the A.30 strain from Tanzania. These two variants warrant detailed analysis as they could provide insight into the range of variations that could yield new waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. In that regard, we analyze a new paper by Arora et al. that compares the ability of one of these strains, A.30, which contains a highly mutated S protein, to avoid neutralization by antibodies derived from convalescent sera, monoclonal antibody treatment, or vaccine.

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© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.