Are anti-Covid vaccines effective against the Indian variant?

The Indian variant is the last SARS-CoV-2 mutation identified to date. Scientists weren’t sure whether vaccines, especially mRNA vaccines, were still effective against the latter. Two previously published studies provide initial answers.

To be successful, the SARS-CoV-2 variants can boost the immune system of theimmunity. With each new discovery, scientists check whether the variant is more contagious and especially when it is more resistant to the treatments available. For the Indian variant B.1617 last identified a few months ago, these questions have remained unanswered to this day. Is considered a variant of anxiety (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) it has already left the borders of India to reach Europe. The UK is the most contaminated country with 3,332 cases listed by Gisaid. In France, it infected a total of 32 people.

Two pre-published publications too server biorXiv, carried out by American and German groups, draw the following observation: the Indian variant is resistant to neutralizing antibodies and to certain treatments; in spite of everything that Vaccinations to MRNA de Moderna et Pfizer still seem to be effective.

The Indian variant escapes neutralizing antibodies …

The first study, carried out by Emory University in Atlanta, is interested in the effect of neutralizing antibodies obtained after a natural infection with the coronavirus or after a vaccination on the Indian variant. The trials were on one virion quite, isolated in California. The results show that the neutralizing antibodies of convalescent or vaccinated patients lose their effectiveness against the Indian variant. Your neutralization capacity is reduced by a factor of 6.8. Scientists assume, however, that the immunity of the vaccines Pfizer and Moderna tested here is still sufficient to protect against this variant.

… and against certain therapeutic antibodies

German team from the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen achieved the same result, but to a lesser extent. Their experiments were carried out on viral particles modified to contain the protein S specific for the Indian variant rather than the natural virion, conclude that neutralizing antibodies from mRNA vaccines are about three times less effective and those from convalescent patients are also twice less effective. In addition, they also examined the effectiveness of treatments that were based on monoclonal antibodies, not Bamlanivimab developed by Roche. In monotherapy, the latter does not block the virus from entering the cells.

Like the South African or Brazilian variant before it, the Indian variant makes it difficult for our immune system to better infect cells. Questionable ? A series of mutations located along the S protein that modify the targets of neutralizing or therapeutic antibodies, particularly at position 484 (E484K or E484Q). With vaccine antibodies, this escape is only partial and does not appear to question the effectiveness of Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. To date, there is no information about other approved vaccines like that ofAstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson. It is expected that peer-reviewed publications will shortly confirm these preprints.

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