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The drop in COVID cases invites the appearance of strains unaffected by antibodies Рexpert РSoci̩t̩ & Culture


NEW YORK, November 22. / TASS /. A dramatic drop in delta coronavirus cases could be threatened by the emergence of strains not exposed to the effect of antibodies, George Mason University School of Systems Biology professor Ancha Baranova told TASS.

“An important question is whether the delta strain is the final variant of the coronavirus. It appears to be indeed the case,” the expert said. The emergence of new variants not exposed to the effect of antibodies would inevitably be accompanied by a weakening of the infectivity of the virus. “Currently, given the delta infectivity, the weaker strains cannot spread and become more frequent,” noted Baranova.

The danger is that the significant drop in cases in the future could lead to “the spread of strains that are less contagious but not affected by the antibodies,” the expert noted. “If the cases of disease decrease dramatically, then there will be more carriers available, competition will be low and another strain, although less infectious, may have the opportunity to spread,” Baranova said, noting that it is quite difficult to predict such developments in advance.

On the other hand, the danger is that the delta strain acquires additional mutations that allow it to avoid antibodies, she said. “However, by all appearances such mutations would have already appeared if it had been possible,” Baranova added.

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