The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has presented a classification of several dozen coronavirus mutations that had been detected worldwide to date. The study is published on the ECDC website.
Mutated viruses were divided into categories: variant of concern (VOC), variant of interest (VOI), or variant under monitoring (see definition above each table).
As the main classification criteria, the researchers used parameters such as transmissibility (degree of infectivity), immune response and efficacy of the vaccine, severity of infection and mode of transmission (transmitted sporadically, during travel, outbreaks, in communities, spot).
To the list of mutations of concern, scientists have included four viruses:
British strains (B.1.1.7 and B.1. 1. 7 + E484K);
These variants of the virus are considered dangerous because they can more easily enter the cells of the body, and therefore are transmitted faster.
Regarding one of the British mutations, the body's immune response to the vaccine is still unclear, for the second British strain, the vaccine is as effective as for the Brazilian. However, the vaccine is powerless to the South African variant - the virus can evade antibodies.
Among the variants of interest, scientists have identified the Nigerian B.1.525, American B.1.427 / B.1.429, Philippine P.3, several Indian strains (B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, B.1.617.3) French B.1.616, Colombian B.1.621, and one mutation of unknown origin - B.1.620.
In all these cases, the vaccine is usually effective. These mutations continue to be studied.
On 7 May 2021, the UK classified B.1.617.2 as a variant of concern. On 11 May 2021, B.1.617 was classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. At this time, ECDC maintains its assessment of B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 as variants of interest and will continue to actively monitor the situation.
Several British, Russian, Egyptian, several American, one Brazilian, Peruvian, and six of unknown origin are among the variants under monitoring. Two of them are invulnerable to vaccines.
As it was reported earlier, India has detected a new “double mutant variant” of the novel coronavirus, the health ministry said, adding to concern as the government struggles with the highest single-day tally of new infections and deaths this year. Genome sequencing and analysis of samples from Maharashtra state found mutations in the virus that do not match previously catalogued “variants of concern” (VOC).