The Multivariant Monster

The Multivariant Monster:COVID-SARS-2 Dr. John A. Lopes, Ph.D., CLD.

Just like Kaliyathe multi headed snake of Indian mythology ormultiheaded Hydra monster of Greek mythology, CORONA-SARS-2 isthe21st century version with the multivariant virus. In virology we enhance the virulence of a virus by serially infecting a particular host animal. The virus gets more and more virulent. Present pandemic of Covid-19 offers human population as the ideal natural host system. Increasing its infectivity and transmissibility during each infection.

The Hallmark of Corona Virus.

The speed of infection allows the virus to multiply and produce millions of viruses in a short time before the host immunity can build up to cope with the virus. The aerial route of infection allows the virus to be transmitted from person to person at an amazing speed. CORONA-SARS-2 virus mutation is a random process. Of all mutant viruses some are harmless and die out. At least one or more of its progenies is more transmissible and faster infective than its parent virus. Thus, a new variant virus is borne.Of the initial variants studied, five are particularly of more concern. To simplify this complex nomenclature, the WHO proposes new nomenclature for virus variants using Greek alphabet including UK B.1.1.7 in United Kingdom(Alpha variant),South African B.1.351 (Beta variant), P.1. in Brazil (Gamma variant) and Japan and lately the variants from India (Delta variant) and Vietnam account for newer more infective variants.

The outer surface binding crownon the virus,like a “VELCRO” product, is capable of infecting multiple mucosal surfaces of nasal, oral, pulmonary, and other organs. Basically, both influenza and corona viruses have structural similarity for rapid mutations in the outer attachment sites. Ability to attach any mucosal surface is a hallmark of CORONA-SARS-2 virus. Influenza virus has been with us for a long period. The corona virus will mutate every timeit passes through human population and dodge host immunity acquired during previousinfection.

Beyond Vaccine?

Thus Covid-19 will be with human population for foreseeable period and more likely we may have to be vaccinated every time a new variant is introduced. Our ability to produce vaccines to combat every variant strain in a timely manner would be limited.  We haveto resort to safe preventive measures to combat this. If the virus multiplies in nasal cavity, we need nasal disinfection, for possible multiplication in oral cavity we need safe and rapidly active oral disinfection and for controlling hand to hand or infected objects like doorknobs transmission we need safe and effective virucidal products.