After India, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and Portugal, it’s France’s turn. The Delta plus variant, derived from the Delta variant, was detected in France, according to the database Gisaid.

And according to a analysis by Public Health France and the National Reference Center (CNR) of respiratory infection viruses released on June 30, the Delta plus variant (called “lineage AY.1” by scientists) is “sporadically detected in FranceThe data available from June 1 to 28 only count eight cases out of more than 53,000 sequences analyzed.

Read also: Covid: what do we know about the new “Delta plus” variant?

Reinfection and less effective vaccines?

But why is this new derivative variant under surveillance? Because it has, compared to the “classic” Delta, an additional mutation: K417N.

This mutation, already spotted on the Beta variant (South African), has direct consequences on the Spike protein, this protein which allows the virus to attach itself to human cells and to infect them.

By modifying this protein, the mutation risks causing an “immune escape”: the Delta plus variant more easily escapes anti-coronavirus antibodies, whether they have been produced following an infection by another variant or by the anti-covid vaccination. This increases the risk of reinfection in the first case and lower vaccine efficacy in the second.

Delta variants are more contagious

For the moment, nothing is established and “the impact of these mutations on the characteristics of this variant is under evaluation“recalls the analysis of Public Health France and the CNR.

It is possible that they have an impact on immune escape, however these mutations have not been described as having a major impact on the transmissibility of the virus.“the report continues.

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If the immune escape were proven, the Delta plus variant could be very worrying because one thing is certain: since it is derived from the Delta variant, it is like it much more transmissible than the other variants of the coronavirus.