Strategies to tackle SARS-CoV-2 Mu, a newly classified variant of interest likely to resist currently available COVID-19 vaccines
Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Several severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants have recently been reported in many countries. These have exacerbated the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-induced global health threats and hindered COVID-19 vaccine development and therapeutic progress. This commentary discusses the potential risk of the newly classified Mu variant of interest, seeming a highly vaccine-resistant variant, and the approaches that can be adopted to tackle this variant based on the available evidence. The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.621 (Mu variant) lineage has shown approximately ten times higher resistance to neutralizing sera obtained from COVID-19 survivors or BNT161b2-vaccinated people than the parenteral B.1 lineage. Several urgent and long-term strategic plans, including quick genomic surveillance for uncovering the genetic characteristics of the variants, equitable global mass vaccination, booster dose administration if required, and strict implementation of public health measures or non-pharmaceutical interventions, must be undertaken concertedly to restrict further infections, mutations, or recombination of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its deadly strains.
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