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Here’s what scientists are saying about immune evasive C.1.2 strain of COVID-19


Researchers have identified another new strain the C.1.2 COVID-19 variant. On August 20, 2021, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa issued an alert about the ‘C.1.2 lineage’. This new strain has now become a cause of concern, even as the world fights the surge of cases due to the Delta variants.

Scientists are of the opinion that the strain may have a greater ability to evade antibodies that protect the body from the COVID-19 virus. C.1.2 COVID-19 variant was first detected in May in South Africa. Since then, the variant has spread to seven other countries – China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland.

The C.1.2 has not yet been declared a ‘variant of interest’ or a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organisation. However, it is mutating at a rapid pace and can be extremely potent in evading the protection offered by antibodies.

What scientists say about C.1.2 strain

C.1.2 has mutated substantially compared to C.1, which dominated the COVID-19 first wave in South Africa.

C.1.2 variant could be more infectious and has shown signs of evading protection provided by vaccines.

C.1.2 may have more immune evasion properties than the Delta variant based on its pattern of mutations, says Richard Lessells, infectious disease specialist.

The study says the C.1.2 lineage has a rate of about 41.8 mutations per year, twice as fast as the current global mutation rate.

It is not a single virus but a clustering of genetically similar viruses known as C.1.2. 

Researchers found that the cluster picked up a lot of mutations in a short period of time. 

The C.1.2 has not been found in India so far as per government sources quoted by news agency ANI.

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