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Covid-19: a closely watched virus mutation


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DECRYPTION – A mutated strain has been detected on several continents. It could reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines.

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, responsible for Covid-19, entering a cell to infect it. SPL / PHANIE / phanie

The prospect of a vaccine against Covid-19 is fast approaching. A technological and scientific feat whose effectiveness could decrease if the virus evolves too quickly. This worrying prospect is unfortunately a credible scenario. A mutated version of the virus, called N439K, began circulating as early as this summer in Scotland. It was subsequently discovered several times in continental Europe and the United States independently. This change is described in an article written by an international team and posted online before peer review. “It’s a great job, even though it’s not published yet, it’s written for a great journal”, comments the Swiss infectious disease specialist and honorary professor at the University of Lausanne Pascal Meylan, who did not participate in this work.

Several mutations have already been observed since the start of the epidemic (including those detected in mink farms). But most of them did not affect

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