Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
B. 1.525 has arrived in Germany
Many people in Germany are only just looking forward to the easing, as the relatively new mutation of the virus is being detected in Germany. B.1.525 is possibly more contagious than the original variant of Sars-CoV-2.
For the first time, the new variant of Sars-CoV-2 with the designation B.1.525 was discovered in Germany. This was announced by the Centogene laboratory in Rostock, which has also been carrying out corona tests since the end of June 2020. In a positive sample, the so-called whole genome analysis has now been used to identify the mutation, which is possibly worrying. The company writes in a statement that the sample was taken from a person from Saxony in the test center at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER). It is similar to the English variant B.1.1.7, but also has – like the South African and Brazilian Sars-CoV-2 variant – the mutation E484K of the spike protein.
Because of this similarity to more contagious variants of the coronavirus, B.1.525 also suggests that it is significantly more contagious than the virus of origin. “The mutation B.1.525 combines the properties of the British, Brazilian and South African variants. It is therefore quite possible that it is more contagious than other variants, each of which already has a higher infection rate than the wild type,” explains Peter Bauer from Centogene .
New variant in 20 countries
B. 1,525 has been detected around 300 times in 20 countries such as Denmark, Italy, Nigeria, Norway, Canada, Great Britain and the USA. According to the notification, this was the first evidence of this variant in Germany. “In principle, you have to imagine that the viruses try to spread and everything that serves it is good for them. The viruses multiply massively and such changes come out by chance,” explains the doctor Christoph Specht in an interview with ntv.
The virus tries either to be able to penetrate the cells faster or to be transmitted more quickly from person to person, explains Specht. It also tries to evade the immune system – for example by vaccination or infection. “So if someone had an infection, the virus has to change in order to attack again.” That seems to be what the new variant does. This is why experts are currently assuming that variant B.1.525 is not only more infectious than others, but also that the immune system can evade it better.
However, that does not mean that vaccinated people are completely defenseless, Specht continues. However, one must assume that the immune defense against this variant is slightly worse than when the original variant of Sars-CoV-2 was attacked.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the new variant came to Germany earlier. It had already stated in the “Report on virus variants of Sars-CoV-2 in Germany”, which was published on March 3, 2021: “In addition, the variant under observation B.1.525 was detected in 2021, its proportion was in the KW 03-07 / 2021 between 0.1 and 0.5 percent. “