Researchers Find New Antibody-Resistant Variant of Coronavirus

Researchers Find New Antibody-Resistant Variant of Coronavirus

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Scientists have identified a variant of the novel coronavirus that is potentially resistant to antibodies.

Researchers at Texas A&M University this week reported a new strain of the coronavirus called the BV-1in a saliva sample taken from a student who lives off campus and tested positive for the coronavirus on March 5.

Researchers have not found the strain in other individuals but called its genetic make-up “concerning” because it may be resistant to antibodies.

“We do not at present know the full significance of this variant, but it has a combination of mutations similar to other internationally notifiable variants of concern,” Ben Neuman, chief virologist at the university’s Global Health Research Complex, said in a statement.

He added: “This variant combines genetic markers separately associated with rapid spread, severe disease and high resistance to neutralizing antibodies.”

Researchers said the student tested positive for the virus for about a month, “indicating the variant may cause a longer lasting infection than is typical of COVID-19 for adults ages 18-24.”

Scientists said they have alerted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about BV-1, which is named after its origin in the Brazos Valley region of Texas.

The genetic make-up of the BV-1 strain is comparable to the original variant found in the United Kingdom in September.

Over 30 countries have identified cases of the UK coronavirus variant within their borders after the new strain made headlines just before Christmas.

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