COVID-19 lambda variant is on the horizon

I just can't fukking stand it. We can't really blame vaccine resistance in this case. It isn't even that there were no COVID-19 vaccines in South America. There weren't any vaccines in use - period - in the summer of 2020. And just to remind you of the canard "vaccines are bad because they just cause mutations by selective pressure", this variant came about just because mRNA viruses are unstable.

At this point, such a report sounds like alarmist fearmongering, except for the data tracking its behavior in other parts of the world.

From the article, there are 2 findings that are of concern.

1) "Here we reveal that the spike protein of the Lambda variant is more infectious and it is attributed to the T76I and L452Q mutations."

        These two mutations help this variant spread more easily. Great. But we're used to that, right???  

2) The RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation, a unique 7-amino-acid deletion mutation in the N-terminal domain of the Lambda spike protein, is responsible for evasion from neutralizing antibodies.

         THIS, though, is a nasty surprise. As with mRNA viruses, lots of mistakes can happen in the process of duplicating it and a deletion mutation wasn't something most people, besides virologists I suppose, considered. That 7-amino-acid stretch of the protein apparently was NOT necessary for its ability to do its thing. There are antibodies that neutralize COVID by binding that part of the spike protein. Okay, well now there are these spike proteins on the lambda variant THAT DO NOT HAVE THAT PART ANYMORE and thus those antibodies pass on by, leaving it to do what it does.

Summary statement from the abstract:

Since the Lambda variant has dominantly spread according to the increasing frequency of the isolates harboring the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation, our data suggest that the insertion of the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation is closely associated with the massive infection spread of the Lambda variant in South America.

What doesn't kill you doesn't always just make you stronger. This thing mutates and tries again.

Lovely.  I can see why some people prefer denial and disinformation over the truth. Maybe I'll switch to Fox News and OAN.

Still a "variant of interest" rather than "variant of concern" at this point, right? Eg, here's an article on lambda from last month:

And the WHO variant tracking page:

Are these out of date, or is this report an early signal that we need to keep a close eye on but not necessarily draw definite conclusions from?

I think this is what hit Chile so hard (a pretty highly vaccinated country) but they seem to be way past peak.  It's been on the decline there for a while now.

PVW said:

Still a "variant of interest" rather than "variant of concern" at this point, right? Eg, here's an article on lambda from last month:

Yes, it is apparently "losing out to the delta variant" when it comes to competing for hosts. That deletion mutation is a little worrisome though. Hopefully, lambda won't take hold here as it has in South America but these variants are little incubators for new variants in and of themselves.

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