Throughout the pandemic, the coronavirus has spawned a multitude of mutations: from the once-dominant Alpha variant to the still-raging Delta strain.
But with California and the country still in the grips of another COVID-19 surge, a new alphabetized entry — Lambda — has been raising fresh questions about whether it, too, might feature characteristics that could trigger dangerous shifts in the dynamic pandemic landscape.
Lambda, which was first identified in Peru, is worth watching because “it has had massive spread in South America,” according to Dr. Benjamin Pinsky, director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Stanford University.
When exposed to an immune system that has received a COVID-19 vaccine, the presence of the L452R mutation in the coronavirus has been shown to reduce — by threefold — the effectiveness of antibodies to prevent the entry of viruses into the body’s cells, Pinsky said.
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