In the welter of news about the Delta variant spreading around the world, one theme has emerged: This form of the virus that causes Covid-19 is challenging, but vaccination works to protect people against it.
A new study published Thursday in Nature adds new detail about the dominant variant, analyzing how well Delta, in a lab dish, was able to evade monoclonal antibody drugs such as bamlamivimab and natural antibodies made in our bodies after infection or vaccination. Looking at both kinds of antibodies in blood drawn from 162 patients and how they reacted to Delta, researchers from the Institut Pasteur in France found lower protection against the variant than against three other variants also notable for how easily they spread from person to person.
“This is an important study for confirming the immune evasiveness property of Delta, which is a feature that adds to its enhanced transmissibility, making it the most formidable version of the virus to date,” Eric Topol, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, told STAT. “No surprises, but further characterization of the variant, which reinforces why it is so challenging.”
The findings underscore the effectiveness of vaccines against the Delta variant if people get the recommended two doses. They also highlight the added immunity a single dose of vaccine provides people previously infected with another Covid variant.
"Delta remains a threat primarily to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people."
— KQED News (@KQEDnews) July 8, 2021