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SARS COV-2 Variants in the U.S.

Hi, it's Dr. Jeffrey mark. I'd like to start off today with the brief update on Coronavirus variants, and their effects on infectivity and what's going on in terms of what we know, the fact that the numbers seem to be going down. But, is there going to be a problem with some of these variants. I'm going to be starting off with this California variant that you might have heard about and some numbers that have been given to it, or it's called a B.1.127  also another variant, B.1.429,. And with both of these three mutations, the most significant mutation, on  part of the spike protein is called L 452R. Researchers at UCSF looked at their recent hospitalizations in February, and some of the earlier data as well. They looked at 394 people that were hospitalized with COVID-19. They found that 69 had the variant  B.1.127  or  B.1.429  They looked at the death rates and the death rates  of the 69 people of the 394 that were hospitalized,  there were  seven deaths. In the other 255 hospitalized patients with the original SARS Cov-2 (no California variants  only five had deaths. So, they further looked at the characteristics of these variants, and found that because of the L 452 R., the variants were much more efficiently binding on the ACE2 receptors and  they are actually 40% more infectious and aouond 19 to 24% more transmissible, meaning they were more infectious and producing more particles. And it was found that approximately two times the amount of virus was present in the people with these variants in their nasopharyngeal airways or nasopharynx, So they were much more prone to spread this virus and that's probably why there are higher infectious  rates. If you look at other characteristics, studies were also done to see how much neutralizing antibodies it would take to neutralize the virus that's present. A study was designed to just see how much antibodies it would take in a lab to neutralize the surface spike proteins on a particle or virus. So what happens is that people that get infected with the virus they produce antibodies and usually a good enough amount to neutralize the infective particle or antigen, in this case the spike protein. The amount that it takes to cover, or to eliminate risk for infection was examined in the diluted amounts of antibodies present, until they could find the amount or minimal amounts that will neutralize on the surface of particles. The spike protein or baseline could be determined from the typical SARS, close to the original virus. And they looked at the California variants, and the South African variant as well. And it was found that for the California variant, it took two times the amount of antibodies to neutralize the amount of Spike protein present. So, because the affinity is better, there's more. Spike proteins and more particles. That means that you need a higher amount of antibodies, but there are other factors involved as well in terms of T cells and other types of the immune system that were not particularly examined because this was a artificial laboratory induced situation, not real life, not in the actual body however it does show the potency or what needs to be done to neutralize these antigens, and the South African variant required six times the amount of antibodies that the original SARS CCV -2 .  virus would have required. So, what this means is that it looks like with the vaccines, and with the infections, there is the ability to neutralize a lot of these antigens for the spike protein even with these variants.  Pfizer biontech and Moderna have been working on booster vaccinations to compensate for the Brazilian and South African variants, with those mutations that the L 452 R. Hopefully these accelerated human trials that will begin soon, expedited because they already had approval from the original vaccine will be soon available and also help out with the present situation. There is another variant that we'll want to talk about as well. This variant is from New York and was investigated by Columbia University and also by researchers at Caltech, this is the B.1.256 variant.It was found in February that this represented approximately 27% of cases of SARS Cov-2 or COVID in New York. The mutations of interest include teh E 484K mutation and the S477N  which are different variations again on the spike protein. And people have had different opinions have been infectious disease people that our immune system should be able to handle these variations of these proteins and other researchers have suggested that we maybe will handle some of these variations, but not to the degree that we would have with the original source code to, meaning we will probably see some illness, hopefully not hospitalizations and death, but these variants will penetrate and require more antibodies and evade some of our immune system features. So, We are still working on protection, and more variation and more tweaking of the vaccines hopefully will help as well. So, the vaccines help in terms of protection from serious infection, and at least some protection on these variants as well. So there's still a risk of infectivity which depends on the viral load in terms of how much antibodies you have and how much of the virus is replicating in the system. So there seems to be protection from the spike protein because you're making antibodies against it. And hopefully, neutralizing some of these but the concern is whether there are other aspects such as carrier state if you have excessive load of viral particles. So, we still need to mask and social distance and wash your hands. So I'll continue to update you and new findings. Hopefully this has been helpful. If you have further questions on how to build up immune resiliency, as it's ultimately  your immune system that's your first line of protection, brain health and gut health, you can contact us by emailing info@jeffreymarkmd.com,  you can visit our website at www.allunctionalhealth.com,  or you can call us at 925-736-9828. So let us help you on your journey of health. Take care and stay healthy.

 
Jeffrey Mark, M.D.
Author
Jeffrey Mark, M.D. Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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