The Mu variant, first identified in Colombia in January, is a “potential concern,” but the regulator said Thursday that there is no data yet that it could overtake the delta type as a dominant strain.
Variation – according to the scientific nomenclature B.1.621 – was classified by the WHO in early September as a “variant to be monitored”.
Marco Cavaleri, manager of vaccination strategy, says the European Pharmaceuticals Association (EMA) focuses mainly on the delta type, but has also been monitoring “Lampta (identified in Peru) and other contagious types such as Mu recently.
Variation “Mu may be of greater concern because it may indicate a risk of immunodeficiency (resistance to vaccines),” he told a news conference.
EMA will discuss with vaccine developers the effectiveness of CERA against the Mu variant.
“But we do not have data showing that the Mu variant is becoming more prevalent or that it is likely to overtake the delta type as a dominant strain,” he said.
All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COV-19, change over time. Most mutations have little or no effect on the properties of the virus.
However, some mutations can affect the characteristics and influence of a virus, for example, how easily it spreads, the severity of the disease, or the effectiveness of vaccines, medications, diagnostic tools, or other social and public health measures.
By the end of 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) had categorized the variants to be monitored and the variability of concerns, prioritizing the emergence of high-risk species for global public health, monitoring and research activities.
Currently, the WHO considers four types of alpha species in 193 countries and delta in 170 countries to be of concern, while the other five types (including Mu) need to be monitored.
It was first detected in Colombia in January, and since then the Mu variant has been reported in South America and other countries in Europe.
According to the WHO, the global prevalence of Mu variant in deployed cases was less than 0.1% in early September, but its impact has steadily increased in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%).
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