Triple Mutant Variant

As India is struggling to battle COVID-19 crisis, a triple mutant variant strain of COVID-19 has emerged as a fresh threat. It is also called the “Bengal Variant”. The triple mutant variant has been identified in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh.

What is Triple Mutant Variant?

The Triple Mutant Variant has evolved from double mutation. In the triple mutant variant, three different COVID-19 strains have combined to form a new variant.

Recently, a double mutant variety has been spreading in India rapidly. This double mutant carried mutations namely E484Q and L452R. The E484Q was reported to be found in UK and South Africa. The L452R mutation was found in California. These mutations were associated with antibody escape and greater binding capacities. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently announced that COVAXIN works against these mutations. The National Institute of Virology has been successfully isolating the mutations and testing them against the vaccines. Also, the INSACOG laboratories are processing the genome sequencing of these mutant variants. INSACOG is Indian SARS CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG).

The new triple mutant variant carries the above double mutants along with another mutation in amino acids. In the triple mutant, two amino acids such as H146del and Y145del have been deleted.

Why are mutant strains dangerous?

  • The transmissibility of the virus increases as it gets mutated. That is, a mutant virus spread rapidly.
  • A mutant virus increases the severity of the disease.
  • The ability of the virus to evade from getting detected by viral diagnostic tests increases.
  • The mutants are also capable of evading the protection against immunization.
  • The susceptibility to the therapeutic agents such as monoclonal antibodies decreases.




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