"Tell me about COVID-19 Mutant strain (N501Y)
Representative Director, Smart119 Inc.
Professor, Department of Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine
Lecturer, Department of Infectious Diseases, Chiba University Hospital
◆Point 1: What is the mutant strain "N501Y"?
・One of the mutations of COVID-19
・The 501st domain of the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein of the virus is substituted from "N: asparagine" to "Y: tyrosine".
◆ Point 2: Mutant strains differ from area to area
・The following is a list of the mutant strains that have been identified (name: reading, location, strain name)
α: Alpha / UK / B.1.1.7
β: Beta / South Africa / B1.351
γ: Gamma / Returnee from Brazil / P.11
δ: Delta / India / B1.617
・The α, β, and γ strains have the same mutations as N501Y, but they also have different mutations, so they are considered to be three different strains.
・The δ strain has a different mutation from the N501Y
◆Point 3: Differences from conventional strains
Strains α, β, and γ with the N501Y mutation have increased infectivity (transmissibility).
・Tendency of becoming severely ill
The alpha strain is associated with an increased risk of death compared to the other three strains.
The vaccine approved in Japan is also effective against mutated viruses.
＊ According to the results of a study conducted in March 2021.
◆Point 4: Origin of virus mutations and why other types of mutations occur in a short period of time
・Origin of mutations
During viral replication, the structure of the virus changes little by little. This is not a trend limited to new coronaviruses, but occurs in all viruses.
・Background of multiple mutations evolving in a short period of time
In proportion to the spread of the epidemic, the replication of the virus increases. This increases the opportunity for mutation.
◆Point 5: New things to be aware of
The infection route is thought to be the same as before. Continue to take the same infection control measures as in the past.
1) Hand washing
2) Wearing masks
3) Cough etiquette
4) Maintain social distance
5) Avoid crowded and closed spaces
6) Stay at home if you are not feeling well