Variants of SARS-CoV-2 have become a major virological, epidemiological and clinical concern, particularly with regards to the risk of escape from vaccine-induced immunity. Here we describe the emergence of a new variant. For twelve SARS-CoV-positive patients living in the same geographic area in southeastern France, the qPCR test that selects mutations associated with the variant showed an atypical combination. The index case has returned from a trip to Cameroon ».
Thus begins the Abstract of a preprint research, still to be revised, published on December 29 in the specialist journal MedRxiv which refers to the British Medical Journal by some French scientists. The discovery of a new Covid-19 mutation only became public yesterday after the DailyMail first reported it.
The variant has been identified in citizens of the Municipality of Forcalquier, in the department of the Alpes de Haute Provence about a hundred kilometers from Marseille.
“In France, where Omicron pushes the wave of Covid infections, a new variant of the Coronavirus has been identified that has 46 mutations and is defined as a ‘distant relative’ of the mutation that has been dominating the scene for about a month. So far 12 cases have been identified starting with patient zero, a traveler from Cameroon »writes Adnkronos in Italy.
The study was conducted by Philippe Colson, Jérémy Delerce, Emilie Burel, Jordan Dahan, Agnès Jouffret, FlorenceFenollar, Nouara Yahi, Jacques Fantini, Bernard La Scola, Didier Raoult through the institutes where Aix-Marseille Université and IHU Méditerranée Infection operate, from which the new IHU variant took its name while waiting for the World Health Organization to evaluate its diffusion and possibly assign it an international name, probably in the case of π (pi), which comes after Omicron.
Among the scientists stands out the name of Professor Raoult, director of the IHU Méditerranée Infection and professor of microbiology and medicine, specialist in infectious diseases, targeted by the scientific community for his studies on the effectiveness of Hydroxychlorichin which cost him a disciplinary procedure but they also became the subject of a French parliament investigation into alleged sabotage by an American pharmaceutical company.
Raoult himself, in October, had highlighted on Twitter a research that questioned the vaccine strategy as the only weapon against Covid-19, especially for resistance to the experimental gene sera of the Delta variant, widespread in late summer, and for fear of subsequent ones.
THE VARIATIONS OF RESISTANCE TO VACCINES
The discovery of this new Coronavirus strain therefore represents for the Marseille professor the confirmation of his fears about the rapid emergence and spread of new mutations of the virus, which the virologist Luc Montagnier, vaccine expert Geert Vanden Bossche, pharmacological chemistry Loretta Bolgan and biologist Franco Trinca all attribute to the vaccine-resistance mechanism of the massive immunization campaign (for now only attempted, given the very poor results).
‘The genomes were obtained by next-generation sequencing with Oxford Nanopore Technologies on GridION instruments within ≈8 h. Their analysis revealed 46 mutations and 37 deletions resulting in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions. Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are found in the spike protein. ‘
“The WHO has not yet given it a name, we have called it IHU and it has been deposited on the Gisaid scientific sharing network with the name B.1.640.2” said Professor Philippe Colson, head of the unit that the discovered less than a month ago, but “it hasn’t spread rapidly since then,” he told the Daily Mail.
«The variant would present the E484K mutation, associated with greater resistance to vaccines, and the N501Y mutation – already seen in the Alpha variant – which according to experts could favor greater transmissibility. In some ways, according to the identikit, the new variant would appear as a ‘distant relative’ of Omicron “highlights Adnkronos.
“This genotypic model led to the creation of a new Pangolin lineage called B.1.640.2, which is a brother phylogenetic group of the old B.1.640 lineage renamed B.1.640.1. Both lineages differ in 25 nucleotide substitutions and 33 deletions. The set of mutations and the phylogenetic position of the genomes obtained here indicate on the basis of our previous definition a new variant that we have called “IHU”. These data are another example the unpredictability of the emergence of variants of SARS-CoV-2 and their introduction in a specific geographical area from abroad “.
THE RESEARCH ON VACCINES SPREADED BY RAOULT
«The European Journal of Epidemiology, of which I am editor, is the most popular epidemiology journal in the world. Here, he points out the lack of correlation between the vaccination policy and the number of cases ». With this Tweet, Professor Didier Raoult credited a study published on 30 September in the specialized journal Springer by two young American scientists: SV Subramania, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, MA, USA Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA, and Akhil Kumar, Turner Fenton Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Canada.
Vaccines are currently the leading mitigation strategy for combating COVID-19 around the world. For example, the narrative regarding the ongoing rise of new cases in the United States (USA) is argued to be driven by areas with low vaccination rates . A similar narrative has also been observed in countries such as Germany and the UK . At the same time, Israel, which has been hailed for its fast and high vaccination rates, it has also seen a substantial resurgence in COVID-19 cases . We investigate the relationship between the percentage of the population fully vaccinated and the new cases of COVID-19 in 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States ».
This is what is reported in the abstract of the finished study among the controversies because some French scientists contested its brevity and speed, as it was carried out in just 7 days.
«The only reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 e its adverse consequences must be re-examined, especially considering the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and the likelihood of future variants. Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be implemented along with increasing vaccination rates. This course correction, particularly in the political narrative, becomes fundamental with the emerging scientific evidence on the efficacy of vaccines in the real world ”.
These are the same doubts expressed by Professor Raoult in an interview with the French media Midi Libre: «The program I have read so far seemed to me to be science fiction. So far what I’ve seen is mostly advertising. I haven’t seen any scientific articles, I’m waiting to see some real data. For vaccines, including those heavily used such as influenza, we know that the target actually reacts quite badly because immunity is deteriorating, with age in particular.
“The strategy of our countries and of France was not the worst from this point of view, England made a vaccination program that was taken over by the WHO, the Americans did the same, of therapeutic evaluation without requiring that there was at least one diagnostic test. In Africa we don’t do it, nobody does it, to make a diagnosis they do a test ”.
“We do not include in therapeutic studies, for the folly of doing therapeutic studies, people whose diagnosis we do not know. If we had fun making this mandatory vaccine you would cause a revolution. You don’t have to do something that you don’t know if it’s dangerous, that you don’t know if it works and you make it mandatory, so it’s really crazy. “
Raoult therefore defines “madness” as what has become ordinary practice in Italy despite the complaints of the affected categories. Among them there are also the policemen who, with the support of the COSAP union lawyer, requested a specialist medical prescription, essential in the opinion of the lawyer Renate Holzeisen according to the current European and Italian health regulations.
The Marseille professor then specifies that vaccination is the choice of each person, as if to seek treatment. “Then there is individual protection, the individual risk that theoretically we would have the right to take, but in this country we no longer even have this right.. When you are prevented from taking medications (with reference to chloroquine, ed) that you want to take is still that you no longer have the right to decide what to do. But I am liberal from this point of view, if you decide to cure yourself or prevent yourself from taking this vaccine you do it which is different from the state policy that says you have to do it. “
“We live in a world that is crazy. The conditions that were taken to combat this disease are conditions from another century. These are not practical conditions, it is not a daily struggle. Already telling people, don’t cure yourself, stay home, it’s not even the Middle Ages, not even Hippocrates did it. He didn’t tell people to stay home until you die… It’s crazy. “The politicians believed from the start that there would be a magic wand. The experts of this magic wand believed that it would come from the pharmaceutical industry ”is the bitter observation of Raoult that opens the door to the conclusions of the research published overseas.
STRONGER NATURAL IMMUNITY THAN VACCINES
“For example, in a report published by the Ministry of Health in Israel, the efficacy of 2 doses of the vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) against the prevention of COVID-19 infection was reported to be 39% , substantially lower than in the study. 96% efficacy . It is also emerging that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine-derived immunity may not be as strong as it is immunity acquired through recovery from the COVID-19 virus . A substantial decline in immunity from mRNA vaccines has also been reported 6 months after immunization . While vaccinations offer protection for individuals against severe hospitalization and death, the CDC reported increases of 0.01 to 9% and 0 to 15.1% (between January and May 2021) in hospitalization and death rates, respectively, among fully vaccinated [ 10]Add the North American researchers.
In summary, while efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated, this should be done with humility and respect. Stigmatizing populations can do more harm than good. Importantly, other non-pharmacological prevention efforts (for example, the importance of basic public health hygiene with regards to maintaining a safe distance or hand washing, promoting more frequent and less expensive) must be renewed in order to find the balance between learning to live with COVID-19 in the same way we continue to live 100 years later with various seasonal alterations of the 1918 flu virus ”.
This is the self-evident conclusion of the scientists SV Subramania and Akhil Kumar.
Gospa News editorial staff
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