January 28, 2023

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Corona study reveals: South African variant B.1.351 more susceptible to infection than vaccine

  • ofPamela Durheffer


A corona study from Israel says vaccines against the P1351 variant no longer work properly. Does the mechanism of antigenic sin apply?

Tel Aviv – Do current vaccines protect against viral mutations? This is similar to the British variant B.1.1.7, which has almost completely displaced the “wild type” of SARS-Cowie-2 in many countries and Germany; A small loss of performance. The situation was different with the variant P.1.351, which first appeared in South Africa.

There is a bad news from Israel: according to a recent study by Tel Aviv University and the Glitz Healthcare Organization – Israel’s largest health insurance company, vaccinated people are eight times more likely to be infected than those not vaccinated in the South African variant. However, overall this number is very low because the virus strain is not widespread in Israel and 90 percent of the infections there are caused by the British variant. This study has not yet been pre-printed on medRxiV and has not yet been reviewed.

The South African variant is able to break the corona vaccine protection

In Israel, 4.9 million people – about 53 percent of the population – have already received both vaccines. Only MRNA vaccines are injected there, and most of them are from Biotech / Fischer, a small part of Moderna. For its study, the study team examined samples from 150 people who tested positive for the corona virus and found that they were somewhat asymptomatic but somewhat infected, although they had already received the first vaccine or both vaccines.

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“Based on the picture in the general population, we would have expected to find an epidemic with a South African variant, but we saw eight,” quoted Adi Stern, director of research at the Times of Israel, as saying: “This result did not make me happy.” The South African variant is able to break vaccine protection. Ron Poliser, director of research at the Glitz Healthcare organization, said the study was “very important” because it was based on data from the real world.

In early March, scientists at the Negev University of Ben-Gurion found in laboratory tests that the Biotech-Pfizer vaccine could not completely neutralize the South African variant and was less effective against strains with both characteristics. Went with the British and South African variant as well.


The study can be found from Israel www.medrxiv.org

Corona research with “real-world data” is getting worse than laboratory testing

The research team worked with samples from survivors of natural infections, as well as samples from completely vaccinated individuals and the first dose for their study. These substances are called corona pseudoviruses in petri dish. At the time, it was concluded that there was a reduced but existing performance against the South African variant. This was more than a survivor of SARS-Cowie-2’s “wild type” infection.

The results of the current study appear to be poor compared to “real-world data”. Ron Poliser of the Gladys Health Organization emphasizes the importance of being vigilant. This includes constantly wearing masks indoors and adhering to social distance. Epidemiological monitoring and systematic sequencing of viral material in corona-positive samples is essential.

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So far, the South African variant is rare in Israel. Adi Stern, head of the study, estimates that only one percent of infections are caused. No other mutants were found in the study. Researchers suspect that conditions in Israel are more favorable to the British than in the South African variant.

The Astrogeneca vaccine does not protect against the South African variant

Weeks ago, a study from South Africa showed that a vaccine from AstraZeneca based on a different technology, such as the vector vaccine, was not protected against the South African variant. Vaccines for the disease were therefore discontinued in South Africa.

What worries me most about the study from Israel is that those who are vaccinated are more likely to be affected than those who are not affected by the South African variant – although there are only eight cases in total. The study did not report whether those who were vaccinated with P.1351 were infected with Govt-19 and how severely they were affected. Can the so-called “antigenic sin” work here? There are already isolated scientific works dedicated to this theory in relation to SARS-Cowie-2. It is important to prove that antigenic sin is a theory, not a proven fact.

Is antigenic sin practiced? In the older version of the antigen the immune system was fixed

Hypothesis: If the immune system is already infected with a virus and then encounters a new variant, it tends to develop antibodies only against the familiar structures from the original pathogen. According to this theory, the immune system will always make antibody versions against this antigen, which was known at first contact and can no longer be modified properly. The principle can be applied to a vaccine. In the worst case scenario, it can be harmful when one reveals a new variant of a virus because the immune system is repaired in the old version of the antigen. According to SARS-Cowie-2, this target system is spike protein; All approved vaccines are based on the original version of this protein.

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Now, however, mutations in new virus strains occur more precisely in this spike protein, on a much larger scale than the British one in the South African variant. Matthew Woodruff, an American immunologist at Emory University in Atlanta, writes about the problem in the British scientific journal The Conversation. He worries that vaccine updates to suit new viral strains may be less effective for those already vaccinated with the first vaccines. In this case, the immune memory may interfere with the development of a positive immune response to the vaccine. The scientific world needs to tackle this growing problem and work on “complex” vaccines that work against many strains of the virus. Research on such vaccines is already underway in the case of influenza. Knowledge from this should be immediately transferred to SARS-Cowie-2, according to the US Immunologist. (Pamela Durheffer)