Descendant Of The Delta Variant Of COVID-19: AY.4.2
AY.4.2 is a descendant of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India in October 2020.
- The AY.4.2 (dubbed “Delta Plus” and now named VUI-21OCT-01 by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)) sub-lineage contains 2 mutations in its spike protein — A222V and Y145H.
- Presently, the United Kingdom accounts for 96 per cent cases of AY.4.2, followed by Denmark and Germany at 1 per cent each. It has also been reported in the US, Israel, and Russia.
- In India, cases have been detected in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- The UKHSA stated that though evidence on AY.4.2 is still emerging, as of now, it doesn’t appear to cause more severe diseases. In terms of COVID-19 jabs, the sub-lineage does not render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective against it.
- Variants of a virus have one or more mutations that differentiate it from the other variants that are in circulation.
- Essentially, the goal of the virus is to reach a stage where it can cohabitate with humans because it needs a host to survive.
- Errors in the viral RNA are called mutations, and viruses with these mutations are called variants. Variants could differ by a single or many mutations.