Corona mutation B117: Why the danger is hardly predictable – guide


How dangerous is the new virus strain that threatens to completely paralyze our country? Politicians are very concerned about the mutation with the name B117.  The  Chancellor is “very worried”, fears massive spread.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) is blowing the same horn and justifying the tightened lockdown. According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the mutation is said to be up to 70 percent more contagious.

How justified is the fear?

Virologist Prof. Bernhard Fleckenstein: “©

 The  variant is more contagious, spreads faster.” In addition, more children should be infected! ©

 The  politicians’ concern: More people could become ill and infect risk groups.

However, it is difficult to extrapolate the distribution in Germany. Because: We don’t even know how widespread B117 is. Only a few cases have been proven so far. This is mainly due to the fact that, unlike in the UK, the positive samples are not regularly screened for mutations. So far only every 900th test!

A member of staff prepares genome sequencing.

A member of staff prepares genome sequencing.Photo: Qiagen

This so-called sequencing is actually not a problem. Devices and capacities are available in our laboratories. Genome sequencing of up to 3600 samples at the same time takes 72 hours and costs around 200 euros per sample. Kai te Kaat is a molecular biologist at diagnostics manufacturer Qiagen: “Sequencing is important because we learn from it what the genome of the virus is, what changes and what effects this could have on diagnostics, immunization or treatment options.”

But why has it been done so little so far? “Because no funds were made available.”

Molekularbiologe Kai te Kaat

Molekularbiologe Kai te KaatPhoto: Qiagen

According to Prof. Dr. Christian Hesse, statistician at the University of Stuttgart, has shown a British study that B117 has a reproductive value (R value) that is at least 0.4 higher. “An increase of 0.4 would lead to a high growth rate and doubling times of 2 to 3 weeks.” Tenfold incidences are possible by Easter.

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Corona mutation B117 danger predictable guide


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