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Increased contagiousness and resistance to antibodies: why the California strain Epsilon is dangerous

People vaccinated against the coronavirus can get infected with the California strain of COVID-19 called Epsilon.

This is evidenced by data from a study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington and the company Vir Biotechnology.

Scientists have discovered that the coronavirus strain has three mutations in the spike protein that the virus uses to enter the human cells and infect them. Such mutations can provide resistance to antibodies produced in the body by the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.


Epsilon can also evade natural antibodies that appear after the coronavirus. Scientists believe this strain is more contagious than the original virus.

Context. For the first time, the Epsilon strain was recorded in May 2020. Subsequently, the strain split into two versions: B.1.427 and the more prevalent mutation B.1.429. Outside of California, the strain has not caused the same outbreak of coronavirus as, for example, the Delta strain.

However, cases of infection with the Epsilon strain were recorded in 44 countries of the world, although 97% of all cases of this particular type of coronavirus are recorded in the United States.

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