In England, scientists have discovered a new variant of the coronavirus.
According to the Ministry of Health in London, the mutant was classified as worrying.
Coronavirus type B.1.1.7, also known as the mutated "British variant" of the virus, is currently prevalent in England.
The health department in London has now reported a mutated form of this variant, which also harbors properties of the South African variant.
This variant can also infect people who have already recovered and who have been vaccinated more easily.
Scientists are concerned.
London - A new Covid-19 variant has been identified in England, which has similarities to the South African and Brazilian variants.
According to the Ministry of Health in London, the variant was first discovered in Bristol.
It is the coronavirus variant B.1.21.7, which worries the British scientists in the changed form.
The mutant was classified as a "Variant of Concern".
They have an additional E484K mutation.
The experts are concerned that the mutation could combine dangerous features of the other variants and spread further.
Coronavirus in England: fear of further mutations
The British variant B.1.1.7, which is predominant in England, already has a modified spike protein.
This is the sting-like protein that is responsible for the entry of Sars-CoV-2 into the host cell.
It makes it easier for the virus to attach to human cells.
It is therefore assumed that the mutation is much more contagious than the previously known virus type.
The two other mutants, the South African type B.1.351 and the Brazilian variant P.1., Are also significantly more contagious than the previous virus.
In addition, they seem to re-infect vaccinated and convalescent people more easily, as their spike protein has been modified in such a way that the antibodies that have already been formed cannot work fully.
The body cannot fight off the virus properly.
Like the South African and Brazilian variants, the E484K mutation is now associated with a possible new infection in people who have already recovered or have been vaccinated.
Corona mutation occurred earlier - and disappeared again
A mutant similar to the one now discovered in Bristol has also been found in Liverpool.
A combined variant has so far been detected in 76 cases in Great Britain.
"With what we know about the infectiousness of B.1.1.7, the dominant variant in Great Britain, we are watching this with particular care," said Susan Hopkins of Public Health England to reporters.
However, it restricted the fact that the E484K mutation had appeared again and again in different variants since last April and then disappeared again.
It is a common mutation, said the government's chief medical advisor, Patrick Vallance.
According to initial findings, the vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer works against the South African variant.
However, there are doubts about the effectiveness of the Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine, at least in mild and moderate cases.
South Africa has therefore initially stopped the start of its vaccination campaign with the Astrazeneca active ingredient.
Both vaccines are currently being vaccinated in the UK.
Corona mutations are also on the rise in Germany
All three variants (British, Brazilian, South African) have already been identified in Germany.
Since the first mutant from England became known (B.1.1.7), monitoring of the mutations has been increased in Germany.
The Robert Koch Institute recently presented the first data from it.
Accordingly, the British variant occurs in 5.8 percent of the 31,000 samples examined and thus spreads very quickly - despite the lockdown.
Angela Merkel swore at the Corona summit on February 10th that a third wave is therefore probably already on the march and extended the lockdown until March 7th.
Instead of 50 new infections, the new incidence for possible openings or loosening was now set at 35 per 100,000 inhabitants.
(jh) * With material from the dpa.