Sunday, October 25, 2020 | ePaper

Fast changing form of Covid in BD raises question about vaccine’s effectiveness

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A health worker collects nasal swab from a woman to test for Covid-19 at a mobile booth in the capital's Paltan Community Centre on Saturday.

Noman Mosharef :
The Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) recently revealed findings that the form of Covid-19 is changing much faster in Bangladesh than in any other country in the world. The rate of its change in the world is 7.23 per cent, whereas it is 12.60 per cent in the country.
So, question has been raised that if Covid-19 mutation rate is continuing, then would the ongoing vaccine (on trial) will remain effective?  Specialists have different views over the issue. Few are saying if the category has changed, then antibody may need change.  Some are with the views that vaccine may need modification for faster Covid-19 mutation. Others are changing form of coronavirus which would not be effective to vaccine.
BCSIR Genomic Research Laboratory  has found that the existence of five different types of coronavirus have been identified in Bangladesh by monitoring Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections, mutation rates, genetic traits, non-synonymous mutations and genomic phylogeny. It's really hard to believe that the existence was not found in other countries across the globe.
BCSIR said, 'With an aim to observe genetic diversity of Covid-19, we analyzed sequencing of the 263 genome of SARS-CoV-2. The samples were collected from 7 May to 31 July during current year. The genomes of the samples were made sequenced and were published in an international database- Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). It was mentioned in the report that in the collected samples presence of dominating variant G 414 was found in cent percent cases. Among the 263 SARS-CoV-2 viruses, 243 GR Clad, 16 G Clad and 1 O clad were found included.' It was also mentioned that after analyzing 263 SARS-CoV-2 genomes, mutation occurred among 737 points. Of them 358 Non-Synonymous Amino Acid replacements occurred. So far, the rate of SARS-CoV-2 mutation in per sample, is 7.23 across the world. Which appeared 12.6 in Bangladesh. That means, compared to any other countries, SARS-CoV-2 is swiftly changing its shape in Bangladesh.
Fifty-three non-synonymous ammonia out of 103 nucleotide nutation, in the spike protein gene occurred much replacement, of them five is of different types. It was not held in any other country across the globe. During the sample collection period, repetition of four mutations appeared in cent percent cases.
 The BCSIR said that besides SARS-CoV-2 virus's source, nature of motion and spread, scientists across the globe have been researching on medicine and Covid-19 vaccine. Bangladesh also took a project to build SARS CoV-2 virus genome sequencing. Genome Sequencing Laboratories took a plan to establish a total of 300 virus sequencing projects under the eight divisions in Bangladesh.
BCSIR's Biological Research Division's Principle scientific Officer Dr Md Salim Khan said, sequencing and vaccine closely related. Suppose that if covid-19 'A' category's vaccine's pushed in anyone's body, then covid-19 'A' category's antibody will produce. If now coronavirus changes its form then this vaccine wouldn't be effective. Those who are working with the vaccine they have in their mind about the covid-19 mutation that we have found in our research.
He said, coronavirus is changing rapidly now. The change is not stopping that's why vaccine is being delayed. There are two thousand types of change happening all over the world.
When we are doing this sequencing, we are immediately giving it to the 'Internal Gene Bank'. Those who are preparing the vaccine are monitoring the data all the time. How many sequencing is happening in which country, what kind of mutation is happening in Corona - we are giving the data there. Again, we are providing the data alone for their research work. It will definitely come in handy and a good reflection will happen. When we are doing analysis, the software is telling us where the virus is mutating. Whether this mutation has happened before or whether it happened for the first time in Bangladesh is all telling. We've got a lot of mutations, but there are five unique mutations that haven't happened anywhere else, he added.
A high official of a company who is developing vaccine, anonymously said, the type of mutation that occurs in the common influenza is not the same as in the case of corona. What kind of effect these mutations will have, we can only get an idea from bioinformatics analysis. But what will happen in the end cannot be said without an animal trial or a human trial. Those who are now in the process of preparing the vaccine have started work long ago. They have met the target of making vaccines with the same analysis that they had then. Now at this stage there is no opportunity to change the target. If you want to change this target, you may need to start working on the vaccine again.
Former Director General (DG) of Director General of Health Service (DGHS) Dr Shah Monir said, vaccines will be developed against antigen. All most all of vaccines are developing against antigen not against RNA's. RNA refers to Amino Acid Sequence which is the life of a virus.  And that organism has a coating of some proteins that act as antigens. When such antigens enter the human or animal body, the body's immune system reacts and makes antibodies. '
He added, 'The effectiveness of the vaccine is the same. That will make antibodies against the antigen. As a result of the vaccine, the properties of the antigen will remain. But will not have the power to cause disease. But this should not be a problem with changing the sequencing. The change in corona will not have much effect on the production of antibodies. The competition to create four types of vaccines has now started in the world. Three of them are safe antigens. One has something to do with RNA. Even if it is made against the antigen, changing the sequence will not ruin the effectiveness of the vaccine.

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