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expert comments about what we do and don’t know about the Brazilian variant of SARS-CoV-2

We’ve had a few questions from journalists about the Brazilian variant after it was mentioned by Boris Johnson when answering MPs’ questions this afternoon, so here is a comment from Professor Ravi Gupta.


Prof Ravi Gupta, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Cambridge, said:

“The Brazilian variant1 has three key mutations in the Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) that largely mirror some of the mutations we are worried about it in the South African variant, hence the concern.  The SARS-CoV-2 RBD is one of the main targets for our immune defences and also the region targeted by vaccines and changes within this region are therefore worrisome.  Vaccines are still likely to be effective as a control measure if coverage rates are high and transmission is limited as far as possible.”




All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



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