All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.
The unusual Lambda variant is rapidly spreading in South America. Here’s what we know. (07/14/2021) | @natgeo
… “Why Chile is getting such high infection rates is perplexing, and it’s likely due to several factors. Because of their high vaccination coverage, the restrictions were relaxed a little too soon, and that could have led to [a] rise in cases,” says Pablo Tsukayama, a microbiologist at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. It was Tsukayama who first spotted the Lambda variant after routinely sequencing the samples deposited between January and March 2021. “But it is also possible that the main variants in circulation, Gamma and Lambda, have some immune escape properties that lead to reduced protection from vaccines.” …
While Latin America has only eight percent of the world’s population, it makes up more than 20 percent of global coronavirus cases and 32 percent of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. …
What has changed in Lambda?
The Lambda variant is very unusual because of the way its spike protein is altered compared to other variants. It has mutations at 14 positions including a long stretch of seven amino acids which has been deleted from a region of the spike protein called the N-terminal domain or NTD. Beyond these, Lambda also has mutations in the ORF1ab gene that are found in other variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. …
The seven amino acids deleted from the NTD belong to an NTD supersite where the spike is attacked by many of the body’s potent antibodies. Many variants, including Alpha, Beta, and Gamma also harbor mutations within this zone, suggesting that this region is important for the evolution of the virus. “NTD is not crucial for carrying out important functions of the virus and thus, it is easy for the virus to mutate and still remain viable, so as to evade the existing antibody response,” …
Among other mutations of Lambda is a unique one at location 452 which is also mutated in other highly transmissive variants: Delta, Delta Plus, Epsilon, and Kappa. While Lambda’s L452Q mutation has never been seen before in a variant, scientists predict that mutations at the 452 position boost the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect a cell.
The 452 position occurs in the part of the spike protein that interacts directly with the ACE2 receptor protein found on the lung and other human cells, and that interaction allows it to enter the body. “The 452 position is recognized by many neutralizing antibodies. Mutations at this site could result in decreased binding and thus less protection by certain vaccines in certain people, those with marginal responses to start with,” says Michael Diamond, an immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine. …
The 3 Simple Rules That Underscore the Danger of Delta (07/01/2021) | @TheAtlantic
SARS-CoV-2 Variants | CORONAVIRUS ANTIVIRAL & RESISTANCE DATABASE @Stanford
SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions | @CDCgov
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK (16/07/2021) | GOV.UK
SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England (PDF; 25/06/2021) | Public Health England
Λ!!: A New Threat On The Rise In South America (07/16/2021) | @Forbes
COVID-19: The ‘unusual’ new variant that may be more infectious than Delta (07/05/2021) | @SkyNews
From transmissibility to severity: Everything you need to know about the lambda variant (13/07/2021) | @weforum
Lambda variant in Canada: where is it and will it become a variant of concern? (07/13/2021) | @CTVNews
Covid’s Lambda Variant: Worth Watching, but No Cause for Alarm (07/08/2021) | @nytimes
Lambda variant: What is it, what are the symptoms and is it in Ireland? (0707/2021) | @IrishMirror
Lambda coronavirus variant (07/07/2021) | @CSIRO
Coronavirus: New COVID-19 ‘Lambda’ variant has ‘unusual set of mutations’, appears to be more infectious than Delta (06/07/2021) | @NewshubNZ