Delta variant mutates into Delta Plus
The highly infectious Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of Covid-19 that first surfaced in India is feared to have mutated into a more virulent version called AY.1 or Delta Plus — one that is possibly capable of resisting even the monoclonal antibodies cocktail currently being prescribed as a cure.
- The new Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant.
- It is not yet a variant of concern (VoC) in India, due to low incidence.
- One of the emerging variants is B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 is characterized by the acquisition of K417N mutation.
- The mutation is in the spike protein of SARS-COV-2, which helps the virus enter and infect the human cells.
- 63 genomes of Delta (B.1.617.2) with the new K417N mutation have been identified by the GISAID so far.
- Delta plus was present in six genomes from India as of 7 June 2021, as per Public Health England (PHE).
- The variant frequency for K417N is not much in India at this point in time. The sequences are mostly from Europe, Asia and America.