As the coronavirus pandemic continues, lambda infections have emerged in the United States, including Texas, where the Houston Methodist Hospital reported its first case last month.
There’s still a lot to learn about Lambda, but here’s what we know so far:
So far it is rare in the US: The variant is nowhere near as worrying as the US Delta variant, which has seen a spike in cases nationwide, but early studies suggest it has mutations that make it more transmissible than the original strain of coronavirus.
“Lambda has worrying mutations, but this variant remains quite rare in the US despite its months of presence,” wrote Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer in the Infectious Diseases Division at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in an email to An on Friday.
We’re not sure how transferable it is: it “It’s hard to say how transmissible lambda is and how well vaccines work. So far, lambda appears to be more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, ”which resembles Delta and other variants, wrote Malani, an expert with the Infectious Diseases Society of America. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Fortunately, studies suggest that the vaccines currently available are still protective. We learned during the pandemic that things can change quickly, so controlling the spread of COVID-19 in general will help tackle Lambda, ”Malani wrote. “As long as there is an uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2, we will see further variants in the future. The only way out is widespread vaccination to control the spread and prevent further mutation of SARS-CoV-2. There is a race between sufficient vaccination in the world and the development of new variants that are less responsive to countermeasures. “
About vaccines: So far, the data has been divided on how well vaccines protect against the lambda variant, and scientists say they need to look into this more closely.
In July, researchers wrote in a laboratory study that they found some evidence that people who received the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 single-dose vaccine could benefit from a booster dose to better protect them from new variants of the coronavirus, including lambda Variant to protect. The study was done in the laboratory and does not reflect the real-world effects of the vaccine – and is pre-printed online on the biorxiv.org server, which means it has not undergone careful peer review.
Nathaniel Landau of New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and colleagues said their blood tests on vaccinated volunteers showed that at least some of the emerging variants could bypass the protection of a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. Increasing a second dose of the J&J vaccine, or even that of Moderna or Pfizer, could help, the researchers reported.
In the study, the Beta, Delta, Delta plus and Lambda variants showed only “modest” resistance to antibodies produced by the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, suggesting that the vaccines are still working.