Déjà vu: French scientists detect ANOTHER variant and say it carries 46 mutations that may make it more vaccine-resistant and infectious

  • This mutant strain contains 46 mutations that make it more immune to vaccination and infectious.
  • It is not yet in competition with the Omicron dominant variant.
  • Twelve cases linked to Cameroon have been reported to date 

Scientists have also discovered another variant of Covid in France.

It is thought that the mutant virus contains 46 mutations which make it less vaccine-resistant as well as more infectious than its original counterpart.

Twelve cases were spotted near Marseille. The first was linked to Cameroon, an African country.

However, there are no signs that the Omicron is able to outcompete it. Omicron now accounts for over 60% of France’s cases.

Researchers at IHU Mediterranee Infection found the strain, but it hasn’t been widely spread since.

Pictured above is an image of the French Covid variant, scientifically named B.1.640.2. It may be more vaccine resistant and infectious than the old virus

The image above shows the French Covid variant (scientifically named B.1.640). It is more resistant to vaccines and may even be more infective than the original virus.

This variant is currently being investigated by the World Health Organization and has yet to be identified in any other countries.

Philippe Colson is the head of the laboratory that found the strain. He said, “We have many cases of this variant in Marseille.”

We called it Variant IHU. We have submitted two new genomes. 

What does B.1.640.2 mean?

How many?

Some 12 genomically-confirmed cases have been identified in France so far. 

Cameroon was the first case.

Is it more vaccine resistant?

Because of its extensive list of mutations, it seems to be more adept at evading Covid immunity than other versions.

This mutation is known as the E484K, and was discovered for the Beta variant. This mutation is believed to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. 

Do I need to be worried?

The variant does not seem to have any cause for concern.

It is not known if it outcompetes the Omicron, but was detected December 10th. 

This variant was dubbed B.1.640.2, and it was first announced on medRxiv. It hasn’t been published in any academic journal.

Researchers claim that the genetic makeup of this lineage differs from B.1.640. This is a gene thought to have been discovered in September by scientists in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It has been confirmed that the E484K mutation is present in this strain, making it resistant to vaccinations.

It also has the N501Y mutation — first seen on the Alpha variant — that experts believe can make it more transmissible.  

This distant relative to Omicron is believed to have evolved from an earlier virus.

In their paper, the scientists state that their observations demonstrate once more the unpredictable nature of SARS-CoV-2 variations and the introduction of them from overseas.

“They are a good example of the difficulties in controlling introductions and spreads.”

France is well-acquainted with Covid variants and any newly discovered mutants can be quickly spotted.

There are around 3 out 10 cases in Britain that have variants.

Omicron — or B.1.1.529 — carries around 50 mutations and appears to be better at infecting people who already have a level of immunity.

Research is showing that it is less likely to cause severe illness.