COVID-19 Delta Variant and other mutations

As we are moving towards the end of 2021, people from all over the world are still impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We all are facing the challenge of the virus and its effects will still be visible for years to come. With the COVID-19 virus constantly undergoing variants such as the Delta variant and other mutants in Spike (S) protein, we wonder how effective is the Covid-19 vaccine against these variants? Not only that but also how long can the vaccine protection last? What’s the side effect of the large scale expressed Spike protein, resulting from vaccination, in our body? Another consideration is what effects the duration of the expressed Spike protein would have in different organs or cell types in our body post vaccination?

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is raised from the wild-type Spike (S) protein of the virus. Theoretically, the mutation in Spike protein could reduce neutralization by antibodies generated against the wild-type Spike protein. How much is the reduction? Well, it is dependent upon the mutation position and numbers. Epidemiological data seems to suggest the current vaccines will protect you from most variants, or mutations of COVID-19. However, to answer this question and confirm the data, we need detailed lab tests to find out the quantitative results of vaccine protection against each type of variant or mutation. 

There are different variants spread out in different parts of the world, usually named by the area where it is first discovered or by its mutation site and type. Some common example variants would be the India variant, New York variant, South Africa variant, Brazil variant, the Delta variant, and so on.  Regardless of their name, the more important information is the mutation site (location) and the type (the changed amino acid).

The convenience tools for such tests include the Viral-like Particles (VLP) that present the COVID-19 Spike protein at the surface of the particle to mimic the nature status of the virus as well as the Lentivirus Products that express the Spike protein variants (mutants). To facilitate those tests and improve research on COVID-19 variants, Gentarget developed the Viral-like Particles (VLP) and Lentivirus Products for many COVID-19 variants/mutations. Each mutation (or combination of mutations) can be tested for its binding efficacy to the anti-Spike protein antibodies, or be used to raise variant-specific antibodies, for potential clinical treatment and applications.