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Decline in COVID cases invites appearance of strains unaffected by antibodies

Headlines 12:33 22 Nov, 2021

The danger is that the significant decline in cases in future can lead to "the spread of strains less contagious but not affected by antibodies," the expert says

 

Decline in COVID cases invites appearance of strains unaffected by antibodies

A dramatic decline in coronavirus delta cases may threaten by appearing strains not exposed to the effect of antibodies, Professor of the School of Systems Biology of the George Mason University Ancha Baranova said, Qazet.az reports citing TASS.

"An important issue is whether the delta strain is the final variant of the coronavirus. It sounds like it is indeed so," the expert said. Emergence of new variants not exposed to the effect of antibodies would be inevitably accompanied by virus infectivity weakening. "Currently, taking into account delta infectivity, weaker strains cannot spread and become more frequent," Baranova noted.

The danger is that the significant decline in cases in future can lead to "the spread of strains less contagious but not affected by antibodies," the expert noted. "If disease cases decline dramatically, then there will be more available carriers, competition will weak and another strain, though less infectious, can have the opportunity for spreading," Baranova said, noting that it is fairly difficult to forecast such developments in advance.

On the other hand, the danger is that the delta strain will acquire extra mutations enabling it to avoid antibodies, she said. "However, to all appearances, such mutations would have appeared already if it were possible," Baranova added.