Category Archives: SARS-CoV-2 variants

WHO designates “Lambda” as global variant of interest

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA In its weekly COVID-19 epidemiology update this week the World Health Organization stated that the “Lambda” was designated a variant of interest “based upon evidence of continued emergence and suspected phenotypic implications” (boldtype below was added). “Authorities in Peru reported that 81% of COVID-19 cases sequenced since April 2021 […]

Variant B.1.617 spreads in India and UK, and arrives in US: get vaccinated ASAP

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 variant “B.1.617”, first recognized in India, a “variant of concern” May 10. The United Kingdom did the same May 7 for the sublineage “B.1.617.2.” The United States has found and reported only a small number of cases, in at least five […]

Seychelles reports rising cases in vaccinated and unvaccinated: Global implications for variants vs. vaccines?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Tuesday, May 4, the Seychelles news agency reported: “There are currently 1,068 active cases numbers, among which 84 percent are Seychellois and 16 percent are foreigners. Some 65 percent of the active cases are unvaccinated or have received only one dose, whilst the remaining have taken both […]

The COVID Archipelago: Volcanoes and variants

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Most archipelagos are created by volcanoes erupting from the ocean floor. Imagining such volcanoes as hotspots of SARS-CoV-2/COVID infections, the virus variants can be imagined as an archipelago of islands above the surface. Each new island has the potential to become its own volcano and spread new variant […]

“The mutating H5N8 strain of avian flu has a high risk of human-to-human transmission” Russian authorities warn March 12   

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Feb. 20, 2021 Russia reported the first-ever human infections with H5N8 avian influenza involving seven poultry farm workers in the southern region of Astrakhan Oblast.  They were infected after a Dec. 3-11, 2020 outbreak of H5N8 on a poultry farm. Although Russia reported a government lab was […]

Will survivors of variant P.1 have antibodies that also neutralize B.1.351 — and vice versa?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The SARS-CoV-2 variants first described in Manaus, Brazil “P.1.” and in South Africa “B.1.351” share at least five mutations including the antibody-evading changes at amino acids 484 and 417 in the spike protein. Potential cross-protection against the P.1 variant by the new Moderna-NIH B1.351 variant vaccine has been […]

The new Moderna/NIH B.1.351-specific vaccine study should add the P.1 variant

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Two manuscripts from Brazil, newly posted by accomplished researchers on preprint servers, report that the P.1 variant “associated with rapid transmission in Manaus” (by Faria N.  et al.) and reported in the U.S. and 28 other nations, “may escape from neutralizing antibodies generated in response to polyclonal stimulation […]

In March NIH will start the first variant-specific COVID vaccine study: Will this B.1.351-variant vaccine also induce some immunity to the P.1 variant?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Friday (Feb. 26) National Institute of Allergy and Intections Diseases Director /NIH Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced plans to start vaccine studies for the first time using the variant B.1.351, now dominant in South Africa and present in the United States. It contains the E484K mutation and also […]

WHO posts global maps of three SARS-CoV-2 variants in 88, 37, and 17 nations: Juxtaposition with a vaccine in South Africa?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the World Health Organization posted its weekly epidemiological update, with a special focus on SARS-CoV-2 variants, that contains a world map (below) showing the 37 nations verified to have the 501Y.V2 variant already dominant in South Africa and some neighboring nations. “Local transmission has been reported in […]

COVID vaccines in HIV-Positive recipients: Need for more data from the Novavax South Africa study and with other vaccine platforms

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The Jan. 28 Novavax press release that included preliminary results from its COVID-19 vaccine Phase 2b trial in South Africa appears to contain a significant difference in efficacy between volunteers who were HIV-positive and HIV-negative. If verified, then the implications warrant sustained attention for this protein-based adjuvanted COVID-19 […]