So far, the World Health Organization has warned about many different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and so of the most dominant strains are the Alpha, Beta, Gama, Delta and Lambda. The latter originated in Peru in December last year, and since then, the South American country has tried hard to keep things under control.
The Lambda strain spread across South America and the globe
Studies show that the Lambda variant has been identified all over South America and that it accounts for at least 20 % of death due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since then, the aggressive variant has travelled across the globe, and several countries have detected it, including the U.S, European countries such as France, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and more.
What do we know about the Lambda strain?
This strain has several mutations on its spike protein, and it increases the virus’s ability to infect hosts. The Covid-19 vaccines are also based on the spike protein, but this strain has multiple variants to the spike protein. This means that it can easier avoid the vaccine and reduce the effectiveness of the antibodies. This might mean that people who already suffered a SARS-CoV-2 infection with the Wuhan variant in the past can still get infected with the Lambda strain, studies show.
Lambda and Delta have common features
Researchers also mention that the Delta and Lambda strains have similar mutations, involving the virus’s ability to infect human cells and escape antibodies generated from vaccines. The result is that the Lambda strain has a higher rate of transmissibility compared to the original virus and other variants identified in other parts of the globe. Still, it will take a lot more time and studies for virologists and other health-related researchers to determine if the strain should be deemed highly aggressive and dominant.