According to new research conducted by US scientists, Pfizer and Modern Kovid vaccines should be highly effective against the two first identified coronavirus variants in India.
The laboratory-based study was performed by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the NYU Langone Center and is considered preliminary because it has not yet been published in a peer-review journal.
Senior author Nathaniel “Ned” Landau told AFP, “We found that the antibody to the vaccine is slightly weaker than the variants, but it is not enough that we think it would have much impact on the protective potential of vaccines.” Monday.
Researchers first took blood from people who were vaccinated with either of the two shots, which are prominent in the United States and given to more than 150 million Americans.
They then exposed these samples to engineered pseudovirus particles in a laboratory, including mutations in the “spike” region of the coronavirus, specifically for variants B.1.617 or B.1.618 found in India. Were.
Finally, that mixture was exposed to cells developed in the laboratory, to see how many would become infected.
Engineered pseudovirus particles contain an enzyme called luciferase, which fireflies use to light. Adding it to the pseudovirus makes it possible to tell how many cells are infected based on light measurements.
Overall, for B.1.617 they found a nearly fourfold reduction in the amount of neutralizing antibodies – the Y-shaped proteins that the immune system makes to prevent pathogens from invading cells. For B.1.618, the decrease was nearly three times.
“In other words, some antibodies no longer work against variants, but you still have a lot of antibodies that work against variants,” Landau said.
“There are enough that work that we believe vaccines would be highly protective,” he said, as the overall level remains well above samples taken from people who had previously recovered from infection with previously uninfected viruses.
But such laboratory investigations cannot predict what real-world efficacy might look like – which will have to be investigated through other studies.
The coronavirus is known to hold a special receptor on human cells called ACE2, which it uses to force its entry.
Landau’s team showed that variants identified in India were able to bind more strongly to this receptor, such as other variants of concern. This may be associated with its increased transmittance compared to the original stress.
“Our results provide confidence that current vaccines will provide protection against variants identified to date,” the team concluded.
However, they do not rule out the possibility that new variants that are more resistant to vaccines will emerge – highlighting the importance of widespread vaccination globally.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)