COVISHIELD protects against Double Mutant

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology recently announced that COVISHILED vaccine protects against B.1.617 variant. It is also called the double mutant strain. The vaccines were tested against the double mutant variety using the Vitro Neutralisation assay.

Vitro Neutralisation Assay

It is used to detect if an antibody is capable of preventing virus replication. This technique does not detect all antigen-antibody reactions. It only detects antibodies that can block virus replication.

How do scientists find if the vaccine works against mutants?

  • The researchers first isolate the variants. In this case, it is the B.1.1.617. The National Institute of Virology has isolated and cultured all the mutants namely B.1.351 (South African variant), B.1.1.28 (Brazil variant), B.1.1.7 (UK Variant) and the double mutant.
  • Later, the researchers collect the vaccinated sera samples from the people who have been inoculated. Sera is a protein rich liquid that separates when blood coagulates. Inoculation is treating a person with vaccine. The inoculated sera is rich in antibodies.
  • Later the researchers will find how the antibody titers in the new variants. Titration is a technique by which a solution of known concentration is used to determine the concentration of an unknown solution.

How are the Variants detected?

  • The variants are detected by genomic sequencing. It also helps to map the transmissibility and their origin.
  • The GoI has established INSACOG labs to sequence the viral genome.

India is keeping a close watch on possible new variants from incoming travellers from overseas and also from incoming travellers.

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