THE Kent mutation of the coronavirus has “developed a superpower” that allows the virus to “evade” the immune system.
Public Health England issued a warning after additional mutations were detected in samples of the Kent coronavirus variant. Prof Callum Sample, who has been advising the Government through the pandemic, reported the first strain of the virus found in Kent has “spontaneously” developed” the E484K strain present in the South African variant. The discovery sparked concerns the mutation could “evade” the immune system and fail to respond to vaccines currently available.
Sky News correspondent Thomas Moore said: “It’s developed a superpower.
“This is a mutation in the South African variant that seems not only help it infect cells but also to evade the immune system.
“The reason being that spike protein that all the Covid viruses use to latch onto humans cells changes shapes and that means the antibodies don’t recognise it in quite the same way.”
Mr Moore said that while the findings had been limited to 11 samples, discovering the mutation still sparked concerns among scientists trying to tackle the spread of the virus through targeted vaccination.