Tuesday, March 16, 2021

03.15.2021 Update: Successful Mass Vaccinations or Mass Deaths?

 "The vast majority of V2 and V3 variants and some more recent V1 variants also have a spike E484K mutation. Whereas in the presence of 501N, 484K has a modest positive impact on ACE2 binding 9, when present with 501Y, these mutations together synergistically increase ACE2-RBD binding affinity ~12.7 fold ... Crucially, E484K and other mutations at S/484 also frequently confer protection from neutralization by both convalescent sera ... , vaccine elicited antibodies ... , and some monoclonal antibodies ... There is therefore increasing evidence that viruses carrying the E484K mutation (with or without 501Y) will be able to more frequently infect both previously infected ... and vaccinated individuals ..." 

"The most important issue here is not whether this particular 'super variant' ever arises, but rather that the convergent mutations that have already arisen in members of the different 501Y lineages implies that these viruses are presently on, and are actively scaling, a broad new peak in the fitness landscape. Whatever SARS-CoV-2 variants eventually summit that peak could be a considerably bigger problem for us than any variants that we currently know in that they might have any combinations of increased transmissibility, altered virulence and/or increased capacity to escape population immunity."

"The emergence and ongoing convergent evolution of the N501Y lineages coincides with a major global shift in the SARS-CoV-2 selective landscape"