The delta wave subsided quickly in Japan

However, the “potentially revolutionary theory” of professor Ituro Inoue from the National Institute of Genetics has not yet been confirmed, and the researcher himself notes that there is no evidence that similar mutations also take place in other countries – it follows from an article posted on Thursday on the Japan Times website.

As late as August, Delta was spreading on a large scale in Japan, and the country recorded record balances of new infections, exceeding 20,000. cases per day. Currently, there are fewer than 200 infections a day. The curve has plunged much faster than other developed countries that are still facing a pandemic relapse.

Seeking an explanation, the researchers point out that Japan has one of the highest vaccination rates in the developed world, with more than three-quarters of the population already taking two doses. Japanese society is also used to the rules of distancing and wearing masks – writes the “Japan Times”.

However, Inoue believes that mutations in the Delta variant lead to “natural extinction”. According to the researcher, the virus spreading in Japan has accumulated too many mutations in the nsp14 protein responsible for removing genetic errors, which means that it cannot reproduce.

“The Delta variant in Japan was very contagious and allowed no other variants. But we believe that when the mutations accumulated, it eventually became a defective virus and could not make copies of itself. Given that the numbers of infections are not rising, we think that at some point in the course of these mutations (the virus) started moving towards extinction. “

– assessed Inoue.

According to the researcher, there is a chance that the virus will also mutate in this direction in other parts of the world. “The odds are not zero, but this (assumption) seems too optimistic for now, as we haven’t found any evidence yet, although we looked at data from other countries.” – he pointed out.

In this context, the “Japan Times” mentions studies which show that among Asians more often than in Europe or Africa, there is an enzyme that attacks RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. However, Inoue does not believe that the described mutations of the Delta variant in Japan are due to the specific genetic characteristics of the Japanese.

Unrelated to Inoue’s research, professor Takeshi Urano from the Faculty of Medicine at Shimane University estimated that damage to the nsp14 protein could significantly reduce the possibility of coronavirus replication and could be responsible for the sudden decline in the number of infections in Japan. In his opinion, research is also underway on the use of agents targeting this protein in the treatment of Covid-19.

Source: PAP,

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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