Okay, so there has been a lot of news circulating about N440K variant being or not being the cause of second wave based on a study from our lab...I will just try to clarify the findings which have been discussed and how the findings were interpreted: a thread
#N440K #LongCovid
So a few days back we published a preprint from our lab that N440K variant (also known as B.1.36) has more infectious fitness than its parent lineage A2a ( also known as D614G mutant or B.1.1.8) and an unrelated A3i variant (aka B.6)
We have also suggested that based on the sequence information on @GISAID till April 24th 2021, the proportion of N440K variants are increasing, clustering in some regions more than the others.
Nowhere in the study it's been said that the N440K virus is the deadliest. Nowhere in the study it's been said that it is definitive cause of second wave happening in India, and nowhere in the study it's been said that #N440K is more dangerous than #UK strain or #DoubleMutant
Totally agree with the fact that UK and double mutant will ultimately take over N440K at their current rate of spread, and no need to panic about N440K being more 'deadly'
Being more infectious and being lethal are two totally different things.
Infectivity of a strain depends upon many factors which involves how efficiently it can enter the host, how fast it can use host machinery to replicate and make new virus particles and how efficiently it can escape the immune response from the host
We did not compare the infective titer of N440K with UK or double mutant in this study. We compared it with its parent strain which did not have N440K mutation and with another strain which is now almost lost among the population.
And we found that N440K is 10 times more infective than A2a and about 1000 times more infective than A3i. The comparison between UK and double mutant is yet to be done...and all these are in cell culture models.
But with the sequencing shortage from Indian subcontinent and lack of clear patient data and history among this pandemic, it will be challenging to perform a clinical study.... difficult but not impossible!
Therefore my sincere request to media and other people with high reach, please go through the data properly and kindly do not misinterpret the findings. We are trying really hard to generate valuable information for the scientific community by using whatever resources we have
And lastly, no matter the strain, no matter how infective...proper covid behaviour is of utmost importance. Wear mask, keep social distancing and be positive, everything will be okay! ♥️
#LongCovid #COVID19 #coronavirus #Thread #SARS_CoV_2 #strain
This is the preprint just in case someone wants to have a read. And feel free to reach out if any of you have any questions. Will be more than happy to help and learn.

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