N440K mutant could reinfect recovered Covid-19 persons: DAK

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Srinagar, Apr 24 (GNS): With the detection of N440K mutant in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday mentioned individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 could be reinfected with the mutated pressure of the novel coronavirus.

“Those who have got Covid-19 infection could get sick again with the new variant,” mentioned DAK President and influenza skilled Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a press release issued to GNS.

“The N440K mutant that is dominant in some of the Indian states has found its way into the valley,” he mentioned.

Quoting a analysis carried out by the Kurnool Medical College in Andhra Pradesh, Dr Nisar mentioned N440K variant can escape the immune response and may trigger reinfection.

“The conclusion was based on the study of the two reported cases of reinfection – found in Noida and Kurnool – which showed the presence of the variant in them,” he mentioned.

“This resistance of the N440K mutant to the neutralizing antibodies could have implications on the effectiveness of the currently available vaccines which needs to be seen,” he added.

DAK President mentioned the variant has been discovered at a time when Covid is raging once more within the valley.

“More genetic testing will only tell whether N440K is the driving force behind the resurgence of cases,” he mentioned.

“In Kashmir, genome sequencing has been done on 381 samples, when the Union government’s recommendation is to sequence minimum 5 percent of all Covid positive cases – that means around 8,000 samples from the current tally of over 1.57 lakh cases,” Dr Hassan mentioned.

He mentioned a complete of 19 genetic variants of Covid-19 have been present in India which have developed to evade neutralizing antibodies.

Out of the 19 immune escape variants in India, N440K variant, which seems to have developed throughout the latest months induces reinfection.

“The variant is spreading a lot more in southern states of India,” mentioned Dr Nisar.

The mutant of concern has been present in Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana,” he mentioned including “in Andhra Pradesh the strain was found in 33 percent of sequenced samples.”(GNS)

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