The Kappa variant is a mutant of SARs-CoV-2 and is called B.1.617.1. This variant lowers the effectiveness for both vaccines and immunity generated via natural infections.
The World Health Organization(WHO) designated it as the variant of interest(VoI) in April 2021. This is a double mutant variant as the mutations are E484Q and L452R. This variant is linked to B.1.617 lineage which also given rise to the Delta variant. Kappa variant also has its own sub-lineage, called B.1.617.3.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF KAPPA VARIANT?
Kappa was first detected in India in October of 2020. In last 2 months it has made up 3% of all the samples submitted by India to GISAID. That is, more than 3,500 of the close to 30,000 cumulative samples submitted by the country to GISAID (Global initiative on sharing all influenza data). GISAID maintains a global database of novel coronavirus genomes. India is leading the GISAID table for Kappa.
WHAT IS VoI?
The VoI is known as the Variant of Interest. According to WHO, VoI are those variants that has been identified to cause multiple COVID-19 cases or community transmission or clusters, or has been detected in different countries.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KAPPA VARIANT OF COVID-19?
1. The course of treatment may differ only if the existing antibody cocktails are found to be ineffective against the newer variants.
2. The Bamlanivimab/Etesevimab antibody cocktail was found to be ineffective against newer variants, and that might be the case with other antibody cocktails (such as Regen CoV, used in India) with newer variants.
3. Vaccination offer the protection against hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19.